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Get Ready for the Boating Season

10 Most Common Marine Law Violations:

1. All watercraft must be equipped with a Coast Guard approved personal floatation device (PFD) of appropriate size for each passenger

2. Vessels are required to operate at a slow, no wake speed, within 100’ from any raft, dock or occupied swim area, anchored or moored vessels, and people in the water.   The speed limit for an inland lake is 55 m.p.h

3. Watercraft shall travel in counter-clockwise direction around the lake.

4. An operator of a vessel shall not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

5. Occupants of a vessel shall not sit or stand in an area not built to be stood or sat upon while the boat is underway. 

6. Watercraft must have proper lighting from sunset to sunrise and during hours of restricted visibility.

7. A personal watercraft (PWC) may be operated during hours of 8am until sunset

8. Persons born after 12/31/1978 must have a Boaters Safety Certificate when operating a PWC.  The minimum age for operating a PWC is 14 with a parent or 16 without a parent.  To operate a  motorized boat over 6 hp, the operator must be a minimum age of 12 with a boaters safety certificate until the age of 16.

9. A PWC may not cross the wake of another non PWC with 150 of the boats stern unless at a slow no wake speed

10. Water skiing is legal between 1 hour before sunrise until 1 hour after sunset.  An observer other than the operator of the vessel is required.


Top 5 Boating Accident Types:

1. Collision with recreational vessel – in 2012 1,010 accidents resulting in 47 deaths and 711 injuries

2. Flooding/Swamping – in 2012,  509 accidents resulting in 68 deaths and 193 injuries

3. Collision with fixed object – in 2012,  475 accidents resulting in 50 deaths and 340 injuries

4. Grounding – in 2012, 422 accidents resulting in 10 deaths and 244 injuries

5. Skier Mishap – in 2012, 387 accidents resulting in 20 deaths and 388 injuries