National Safe Boating Week 2015: Auxiliary, state boating resources

Vessel DocumentationCoast Guard Safety Alerts

National Safe Boating Week 2015 runs from May 16-22, 2015. The theme for this year’s campaign is ‘Wear It!’ Today’s feature, Auxiliary and state boating resources includes information about local vessel safety checks. Stay tuned all week as we share important boating safety information, and feel free to share your own advice in the comments below. Boat safe!

Boarding team members from Coast Guard Station Mayport, Fla., stop a vessel in the St. Johns River, Fla., for a safety inspection and check to ensure there is a life jacket for everyone aboard and that the fire extinguisher isn’t expired Friday evening March 27, 2009. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Bobby Nash.

 

Now that you know all about life jackets, safety equipment, and why float plans are so vital to you and your passengers, here is some great U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and state boating resources that you need to know. Many states have laws and regulations that differ depending upon boat type, size or waterway they are used on. This is in addition to federal law, which the U.S. Coast Guard enforces for public safety on the water.

Both the Coast Guard Auxiliary and the U.S. Power Squadrons have certified vessel examiners who will perform a free vessel safety check at your boat, and at your convenience. There is no charge and no consequences if you don’t pass. Their goal is simply to educate and help make boating as safe as possible. Remember, life jackets and certain safety equipment is mandatory and these free vessel safety checks may help you identify if you’re need of vital equipment before you boat.

 

Petty Officer 2nd Class Bobby Hitchcock, right, a maritime enforcement specialist stationed at Coast Guard Station Mayport, Fla., checks a life jacket aboard Mitch Kubacki's boat during a boarding Friday, April 25, 2014, in the St. Johns River, near downtown Jacksonville. Boardings are conducted to ensure mariners have all essential safety gear. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Anthony L. Soto)

Petty Officer 2nd Class Bobby Hitchcock, right, a maritime enforcement specialist stationed at Coast Guard Station Mayport, Fla., checks a life jacket aboard Mitch Kubacki’s boat during a boarding Friday, April 25, 2014, in the St. Johns River, near downtown Jacksonville. Boardings are conducted to ensure mariners have all essential safety gear. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Anthony L. Soto)

 

In addition, there is an online virtual vessel safety check available to you as well. You can use it to check your own boat and make sure you’re in compliance with federal law. Print the form and use it as a guide while performing this self-inspection on your vessel.

Want to know more about your state’s boating laws or how they compare with boating laws in other states? The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators offers a reference guide for state boating laws. Each state is included, and you simply click on the desired state to read specific information on boating requirements.

If you’re still unsure about state boating requirements, use the new Coast Guard mobile app for boating information in your state. The app allows you to request a vessel safety check right from your smart phone. Simply select your location and get started with the request. Don’t forget with the Coast Guard app, you’ll never have to try and remember which safety equipment you need – all that information will be right at your fingertips!

The app is not a substitute for a working VHF-FM radio.