Boaters on the waterways of Santa Rosa County are safer and more knowledgeable about the sport of boating after completing the Boating Safety Class sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotillia 18. 

Johnny Rebel, Milton's Fire Chief and instructor for the eight-hour class, shared his expertise regarding every type of water vessel from a canoe to a barge with the students.

The class, which is hosted by the city of Milton Fire Department addresses safety, sailing, inland rules, navigation lights, passing, towing, inflatables, and many more boating dynamics.

 The class has a manual, which costs $35.00 and can be shared by up to four family members and provides a valuable resource for bating safety.

Rebel says, “We proudly consider ourselves the guardians of the Blackwater River.” Class participants leave the class confident in what they learned, and with a newfound respect for operating a vessel on the waters of Santa Rosa County.

In Florida all boaters under the age of 25 must have a Florida boaters I.D. card, which they can earn through this class.

“We believe that an educated boater on the Blackwater River or any waterway is a safe boater. There is daily evidence on Blackwater for the need for every boater to be educated and safe. We are definitely seeing the rewards of the class, we strongly suggest that everyone take the class,” says Reble.