What is a Vessel Safety Check?
A Vessel Safety Check is a courtesy examination of your boat (Vessel) to verify the presence and condition of certain Safety Equipment required by State and the Federal regulations. The Vessel Examiner is a trained specialist and is a member of the United States Power Squadrons or the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. They will also make certain recommendations and discuss certain safety issues that will make you a safer boater.
This is not boarding or a law enforcement issue. No citations will be given as a result of this encounter. We will supply you with a copy of our evaluation so that you may follow some of the suggestions given. Vessels that pass will be able to display our distinctive VSC decal. This does not exempt you from law enforcement boarding, but you can be prepared to make this a positive encounter.
Safe Boating is No Accident
Safety equipment is not only required depending on size of the vessel, it’s important and should be in good working order.
- Personal Flotation Devices; Life Jackets
- Visual Distress Signals
- Fire extinguishers
- Backfire flame control
- Sound producing devices
- Navigation lights
- State requirements
- Overall vessel condition
A free Vessel Safety Check will help you in both of these key areas, meeting the Federal and State Safety Equipment requirements and making sure it’s in good working order. VEs (Vessel Examiners) in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and United States Power Squadrons are all volunteers. In addition to Vessel Safety Checks, both organizations also provide Boating Safety Courses that meet or exceed National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) standards.
Vessels meeting Safety Check (VSC) requirements are awarded a VSC decal. Vessel Safety Checks are not a boarding or law enforcement issue. No citations will be given if boats do not meet all safety requirements infact arrangements are usually made to re-inspect the boat for the missing/defective items at a later date.
Boating Safety Education
During the Vessel Safety Check, the vessel examiner will discuss with the recreational boater the purpose of specific marine safety equipment, will clarify various federal and state regulations, will discuss certain safety procedures and practices, and will answer any boating related questions.
Some Topics Discussed
- Accident reporting
- Charts and aids to navigation
- Survival tips
- Fueling and fuel management
- Float plans Weather and sea conditions
- Availability of boating safety classes