Vessel Safety Checks Not Affected By Recession – They Are Still Free

LOS ANGELES – As the weather gets warmer and with the increase in daylight hours more and more recreational boaters are getting out on the water. “Before hitting the water, the Coast Guard urges boaters to make sure they have the required safety equipment and that it is in working order by taking advantage of a free Vessel Safety Check offered by the Coast Guard Auxiliary,” said Anthony Turner a spokesman for the Coast Guard in Los Angeles.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary has been conducting free Vessel Safety Checks since 1947. Unaffected by recession or inflation they were free then and still free today.

Vessel Safety Checks are conducted by qualified members of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and are the best way of learning about problems that might be a violation of state or federal laws and provide the boating public with additional safety tips that could possibly mitigate or eliminate preventable danger on the water. To find a Vessel Examiner go to www.safetyseal.org. Vessel Safety Checks can be conducted on any type of watercraft from boats, personal watercraft, to kayaks.

Lifejackets, fire extinguishers, and distress signals are just some of the items that are required by federal regulations. The Coast Guard also suggests boaters equip their vessels with a marine VHF radio, GPS device, and 406 MHz EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon).

Aside from being prepared for an emergency, another advantage of getting the free Vessel Safety Check from the Coast Guard Auxiliary is that there aren’t any penalties associated with not passing. Those who do pass will be able to display this year’s Vessel Safety Check decal on their boat.

According to Turner, the U.S. Coast Guard and local law enforcement also conduct their own inspections. Unlike the inspections offered by the Coast Guard Auxiliary, if you fail to pass one conducted on the water by law enforcement you could face fines and be ordered back to the dock.

Now is also a great time to take advantage of one of the many boating safety courses offered by the Coast Guard Auxiliary and become acquainted or reacquainted with basic boating skills, seamanship and the most current rules and regulations that may also save a live or prevent and accident.

For more information about boating safety visit the U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Division website at: www.uscgboating.org/.

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