Coast Guard Auxiliary to celebrate National Marina Day with free vessel safety checks

MIAMI — The Coast Guard Auxiliary will provide free vessel safety checks at local marinas and public boat ramps throughout Miami-Dade County Saturday in celebration of National Marina Day.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary will administer free vessel safety checks Saturday between 8 a.m. and noon at the following locations: Homestead Bayfront Marina, Black Point Marina, Matheson Hammock Marina, Dinner Key Marina, Crandon Park Marina, Watson Island Public Boat Ramp, Pelican Harbor Marina and Haulover Park Marina.

“I encourage South Florida boaters to get a vessel safety check before going out onto the water. This free exam safeguards recreational boaters by confirming that they understand the state and federal safety requirements, and that their boating equipment meets regulation standards,” said Lt. Michael Cortese, commanding officer of Coast Guard Station Miami Beach. “A vessel safety check helps eliminate potential injury, loss of property and loss of life on our waterways.”

The vessel safety check is a complimentary check of your boat, confirming that it meets both federal and state requirements for safety. The examination takes about 15-30 minutes to complete, depending on the size of the vessel. This is not a boarding or law enforcement action. No citations are issued and the results of the safety check are not reported to any enforcement agency. If a vessel does not pass the safety check, boaters are provided a written report detailing how to correct any discrepancies. Boaters whose vessels pass the inspection are awarded a decal that informs the Coast Guard, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and other boating law enforcement and safety agencies that the boater’s vessel was found to be in full compliance with all federal and state boating laws during a safety check for that year.

An example of some of the items checked include:

– Life jackets
– Registration and numbering
– Navigation lights
– Ventilation
– Fire extinguishers
– Distress signals (flares, horn, etc.)
– Battery cover and connections

All of these items are currently required by state and federal laws and, if missing or non-operating, can result in a citation if your vessel is inspected by the Coast Guard. Each vessel examiner is a trained boating safety specialist that will make recommendations and discuss issues that will make boaters safer. Additionally, many insurance agencies offer discounts for vessel owners who undergo annual vessel safety checks.

To learn more or to coordinate a vessel safety check, click here.

For more information on National Marina Day, click here.

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary created by an Act of Congress in 1939 is the uniformed civilian component of the U.S. Coast Guard supporting the Coast Guard in nearly all its missions.

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