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Course Outline

Federally controlled waters are waters on which vessels must observe federal requirements, including visual distress signal requirements. These waters include:

  • Coastal waters
  • The Great Lakes
  • Territorial seas
  • Bodies of water connected directly to one of the above, up to a point where the body of water is less than two miles wide

Coastal Waters

Washington sometimes uses “coastal waters” instead of “federally controlled waters.” These waters include:

  • The U.S. waters of the Great Lakes
  • The territorial seas of the United States
  • Waters (such as bays, sounds, harbors, rivers, inlets, etc.) which are more than two miles wide and are connected directly to one of the above
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