Mississippi law requires that every person that operates a boat must be properly certified. Boating, like driving, requires a heightened sense of safety for the individual that operates the boat. Attention to safety by boat operators helps to prevent accidents that lead to injury or death to the victims.
Before an individual can legally operate a boat, he or she must first become certified within the state. Anyone that was born after June 30, 1980 must pass a boating education course. The course must be approved by the following state agencies: Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (DWFP), and Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (DMR). Once the course is completed, the student will earn a Boater Education Card. There is reciprocity with education cards earned in other states if the cards meet National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) requirements.
There is no age minimum for to take the boat safety exam. However, individuals that are under the age of 12 can only operate a boat with someone that is 21 or over. Once earned, a boater must always carry his or her Boater Education Card. Mississippi waterways are patrolled by law enforcement. Failure to carry the education card may result in a fine.
The certification course is designed to ensure that boaters understand what is needed to stay safe while on the water. Unfortunately, there are times when fatal accidents occur. Victims may need to seek legal counsel to determine the legal rights of the victim and their family. The state of Mississippi allows certain individuals to bring wrongful death claims. An attorney experienced in wrongful death claims is able to advise clients on the proper course of action.
Source: Mississippi Boater Education Safety Program, "It's the Law," last visited March 29, 2015