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So, two things that make boating so much fun is that we get to relax and we get to mess around. Safely, of course. But besides safety, the two things we never, and I mean never mess around with are the U.S. Coast Guard and Homeland Security restrictions. Out here on the water, the U.S. Coast Guard and other law enforcement officers protect all of us. It’s a huge job. And with probable cause, they have the right to stop, board and examine any vessels to check for compliance with laws. It’s pretty serious business. So if the U.S. Coast Guard or other law enforcement vessels signals you, you are required to maneuver so that they can board.
Homeland Security is vital to all of us, and they need our help in keeping our waterways safe and secure. Here’s how you can help and stay out of serious trouble. Never approach any U.S. Naval vessel within 100 yards. And if you’re within 500 yards, slow to a minimum speed. If you really need to pass within 100 yards of a U.S. Naval vessel for safe passage, you must contact the U.S. Naval vessel or U.S. Coast Guard escort vessel on the VHF-FM channel 16.
Avoid all security zones, such as commercial port areas, military, cruise line, or petroleum facilities. Avoid other restricted areas near dams and power plants. And don’t stop or anchor beneath bridges or in the channel. And you can also pitch in by keeping an eye out for anything that looks suspicious within restricted areas. Report anything that seems suspicious to the local authorities, U.S. Coast Guard, or the port, or marina security. And finally, check out the U.S. Coast Guard’s boating safety website. It’ll make boating safer for all of us.
On screen: www.uscgboating.org