Times Spent Outdoors: Priceless!

Will A Vessel Safety Check Save You

Asking The Quiet Part Out Loud:

Will A Vessel Safety Check Save You From A Random Boarding By Law Enforcement?

Each spring and summer, recreational boaters debate getting a free, no-penalty vessel safety check (VSC). Some may also wonder if that VSC decal on their boat will save them from a random summertime boarding by law enforcement.

The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water, the boating safety arm of the nation's largest membership-based boating group and Vessel Safety Check program sponsor says there is no data that supports having a current-year VSC decal lessens the chance for a random boating safety check. The U.S. Coast Guard flatly states the decal does not exempt boaters from law enforcement boarding.

So Why Get A Vessel Safety Check?

"It's a question some boaters don't feel comfortable asking out loud," says BoatUS Foundation boating safety director Ted Sensenbrenner, "Many boaters think that having a current VSC decal is some type of 'get out of jail free' card. It's not."

The Real Value Of A VSC

However, completing a free VSC offers a much more important benefit. "The real value to passing a VSC means you and your boat are ready for potential safety challenges or emergencies that may come up over the boating season," says Sensenbrenner. "You won't be caught scrambling or without an important safety device when you most need it. This is far more important than simply indicating to a potential boarding officer that a boat has been found to be in compliance with safety equipment regulations."

Scheduled VSC inspections are often offered by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or United States Power Squadrons, America's Boating Club, at launch ramps, marinas and boat clubs, or appointments can be made for a vessel examiner to come to your boat. Go to cgaux.org/vsc to learn more and request an exam. Exams typically take less than 60 minutes.

List Of Items Needing Your Attention

Failing a VSC from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or United States Power Squadrons, America's Boating Club, does not penalize a boater. The owner is given a road map on what items or issues to focus on so they can pass the next exam. In contrast, if your boat is boarded by the Coast Guard and deficiencies are found, you could receive a citation or fine.

Boat clubs, marinas, boat yards and municipalities with launch ramps may also reach out to their local U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or United States Power Squadrons, America's Boating Club, to schedule a VSC inspection day at their property.

 

Reader Comments(0)

 
 
Rendered 07/14/2024 05:42