The US Coast Guard and US Power Squadrons expect to complete over 200,000 voluntary Vessel Safety Checks this year. The no-cost, no-risk courtesy inspections, done at boat ramps, marinas and boat clubs, have ensured the safety of thousands of lives. Now, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) has stepped in to sponsor this important boating safety program for the next three years.
“A vessel safety check is done as a courtesy and with no risk to the boater – you won’t be in trouble if discrepancies are found,” said BoatUS Foundation Assistant Director of Boating Safety Ted Sensenbrenner. “What it will do is point out, in a very friendly manner, where you can improve your boat’s safety and help educate you on the value of recreational boating safety. Simply put, having a Vessel Safety Check done on your boat at the beginning of the boating season will help prevent bad things from happening and ensures that if something does occur, you’re prepared.”
If you are ever stopped by law enforcement, the Vessel Safety Check program can also help prevent citations by ensuring your boat meets federal, state and local safety equipment requirements, such as the proper display of registration numbers and documentation.
It also points out both the required and recommended items to have aboard, such as fire extinguishers, life jackets, distress signals, first aid kits, and engine spark arrestors, and also helps provide a better understanding on the care and use of this critical equipment. Additional items covered include the use of local navigation charts, float plans, safe refueling, ventilation, marine heads, weather, sea conditions, survival tips and more.
To find a US Coast Guard Auxiliary or US Power Squadron Vessel Safety Check examiner near you, go to www.safetyseal.net/GetVSC. A “Virtual” Vessel Safety Inspection that boaters can use to self-inspect their boat can be found by going to www.safetyseal.net/what_is_vsc.asp. For a look at some of the top reasons why a boat may fail a courtesy Vessel Safety Inspection, go to www.safetyseal.net/vsc_stats.asp.