EVEN EXPERIENCED BOATERS NEED A FREE VESSEL SAFETY CHECK!
The most cautious boaters can sometimes experience unexpected problems on the water. That's why the U.S. Coast Guard recommends that all recreational boaters, including personal watercraft and paddle sport users, take advantage of the free Vessel Safety Check program every year.
The courtesy Vessel Safety Check (VSC) is performed on your boat – whether in a slip, at the launch ramp, or in your driveway – by a certified Vessel Examiner, at a mutually-convenient time, and usually takes 20 to 30 minutes, depending upon the size of your boat.
What's In It For Me?
Boats that pass the examination are awarded a distinctive VSC Decal that alerts the Coast Guard and local law enforcement that your boat was found to be in full compliance with all Federal and State boating laws.
What If I Don't Pass?
If your boat does not pass, no report is filed. Instead, you are provided a written report that aids you in correcting any discrepancies noted. Often, a quick trip to the local marina is all that is necessary to obtain missing safety items and easily pass a re-inspection.
Why Do This?
In a word – safety. You are left with the peace of mind that your boat meets minimum safety standards and that in an emergency, you will have the necessary equipment to save lives and summon help. Additionally, you will avoid substantial fines should you ever be boarded by law enforcement and found to be in violation.
Where Can I Get a Vessel Safety Check?
Your local Coast Guard Auxiliary unit, Flotilla 87, on Lake Anna has members who are certified to perform vessel safety checks. Call Flotilla Staff Officer, Bill Shutt at 540-894-0181 to set up a VSC in your driveway or wherever you store your boat . The Flotilla also schedules regular VSCs at the local marinas around Lake Anna. Look for our VSC summer schedule on our web site or check with the marina.
Not sure what safety equipment is required in Virginia? To heck out the virtual VSC to understand what is expected. Click here.