May 21, 2021| Safety
By: Holly Odgers
To help make boating as safe as possible, both the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and the United States Power Squadrons have certified vessel examiners who will perform free vessel safety checks. A vessel safety check usually takes 15 to 30 minutes, depending upon the size of your boat. There is no charge, and there are no consequences if you don't pass.
Vessels passing safety checks are awarded a U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Decal, which informs boating law-enforcement and safety agencies that your boat was in full compliance with all federal and state boating laws during a safety check for that year. If your boat does not pass, you will be provided a written report on how to correct any discrepancies.
Doing a DIY virtual safety check can give first-time boat owners a line-by-line recipe for making their boat safe. It can also greatly increase the chances of any boat successfully passing an in-person vessel safety check.
No cost, no penalty vessel safety checks from U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Power Squadrons volunteers are provided at launch ramps, boat clubs, and marinas. You can find out if there will be a scheduled vessel safety check event near you by contacting your local U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or U.S. Power Squadrons. You can also request an individual vessel safety check at cgaux.org/vsc.
Get peace of mind that your boat meets federal safety standards and that in an emergency you will have the necessary equipment to save lives and summon help by doing a vessel safety check this spring.
Celebrate National Safe Boating Week, May 22-28, by reviewing some of the important boating safety information we’ve shared over the last two months with our Spring Safety Series. You can never be too careful. Make amazing memories with a fun and SAFE boating season!