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NASBLA mourns loss of Emily King, Education Coordinator, Water Rescue Expert and Boating Safety Champion


NASBLA mourns loss of Emily King, Education Coordinator, Water Rescue Expert and Boating Safety Champion

Emily King

NASBLA mourns the loss of Emily King, 66, who passed away on November 10, 2022.

Emily was a consummate professional recognized as an international expert in boating education and water rescue representing the National Safe Boating Council and previously the State of Ohio. Emily was an active member of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators’ (NASBLA) Education and Paddlesports Committees, member of the National Boating Education Standards Panel and training director for the National Safe Boating Council.

Emily was born on June 16, 1956, in Delaware, Ohio, the daughter of the late Lewis Welch and Frances Evelyn (Newhouse) King. Emily graduated from Rutherford B. Hayes High School and went on to receive her bachelor’s degree in public education from the Ohio State University where she was an active member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority.

Boating Safety Award - King

Her career as public information and education manager at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Watercraft, spanned over forty years. As a watercraft officer, she trained fire departments, EMS, and even school-age children in water and boating safety. Writing, compiling, and revising the water safety manual used by states nationally, she greatly impacted the world of safe boating. In 1998 and 2008, she received the NASBLA Boating Safety Award for her impressive work in promoting recreational boating safety. She is the only individual to have received the NASBLA Boating Safety Award twice.

She managed Ohio’s River Rescue Training program for many years. When the 1996 Olympics were held in Atlanta, she oversaw water rescue for the whitewater slalom races with 51 documented rescues for that event. She received recognition for her river rescue work from the State of Ohio, the American Canoe Association, and the National Association of Search and Rescue.

Emily was proud to have earned her Captain's License from the U.S. Coast Guard allowing her to pilot larger boats and ships, leading her friends to refer to her as "Captain King."

Losing her two siblings at an early age, she was fortunate to have the support of a large network of friends from elementary, middle, high school and college who remained close to her to the day of her passing.

Emily was strong in her faith and attended the Rural Chapel United Methodist Church for over thirty years. As the music director, she prepared the music selections, rehearsals and played the piano for services every Sunday morning. She was an avid Ohio State Buckeyes fan with season tickets to all the football games. Her athletic pursuits included playing volleyball and pickleball, and she was the “Queen of Whitewater” kayaking, leading numerous kayaking excursions.

Emily had an infectious smile, loved cats and her dog, Roxy, and she was fun-loving, outgoing, kind, and generous with a heart of gold. She will be greatly missed by so many whose lives she touched in her community and the national recreational boating safety community.

Emily was preceded in death by her sister, Esther Jo King, her brother, Lewis Russell (Russ) King, and her parents, Lewis, and Frances King.

Friends and family may gather at Rural Chapel United Methodist Church, 5860 Cheshire Road, Galena, Ohio 43201, from 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm Sunday, November 20th, 2022. Pastor Craig Mook will officiate a celebration of Emily's life at 4:00 pm. Private family burial will take place at a later date.