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Vessel Safety Check



What is a Vessel Safety Check (VSC)?


A Vessel Safety Check is a courtesy examination of your boat (Vessel) to verify the presence and condition of certain Safety Equipment required by State and the Federal regulations. The Vessel Examiner is a trained specialist and is a member of the US Power Squadron or the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. They will also make certain recommendations and discuss certain safety issues that will make you a safer boater.

This is not a boarding or a law enforcement issue. No citations will be given as a result of this encounter. We will supply you with a copy of our evaluation so that you may follow some of the suggestions given. Vessels that pass will be able to display our distinctive VSC decal. This does not exempt you from law enforcement boarding, but you can be prepared to make this a positive encounter.

Interested in obtaining a Vessel Safety Check?


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Vessel Safety Check

The U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary offers free safety checks to boaters who wish to be sure that their boats meet all federal and state requirements. The Vessel Examiners who perform these checks are specially trained Auxiliarists who are kept informed on the latest legal requirements for boaters. Vessel Examiners have no legal authority - their goal is to prevent boaters from getting equipment-related citations and to prevent safety-related accidents. These safety checks are meant to be an educational experience. The Vessel Examiners will check for all required required items on board your boat and if everything is present and in good working order, they will award a decal to affix to your boat. If you wish, they will also gladly explain the reason for the various safety equipment requirements and explain how safety equipment works.

What is in a Vessel Safety Check?

NUMBERING
REGISTRATION/DOCUMENTATION
PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICES (PFDs)
VISUAL DISTRESS SIGNALS
FIRE EXTINGUISHERS
VENTILATION
BACKFIRE FLAME ARRESTER
SOUND PRODUCING DEVICES
NAVIGATION LIGHTS
POLLUTION PLACARD
MARINE SANITATION DEVICE
NAVIGATION RULES
STATE AND LOCAL REQUIREMENTS
OVERALL BOAT CONDITION
Deck free of hazards and clean bilge
Safe Electrical and Fuel Systems
Safe Galley and Heating Systems
RECOMMENDED AND DISCUSSION ITEMS: (Not required for the award of the "Vessel Safety Check" decal.)

For the very best boaters, we recommend these additional items. Meeting these requirements reflects your concern for Boating Safety:

Marine radio
Dewatering device & backup
Mounted fire extinguishers
Anchor & line for area
First aid kit
Person in the water (PIW) kit (one extra wearable PFD and a throwable type IV PFD w/line)
Inland visual distress signals
Capacity / Cert. of Compliance

Discussion Items are educational in nature and add value to the Vessel Safety Check program:

Accident reporting / Owner responsibility
Offshore operations
Nautical charts / Navigation aids
Survival tips / First aid
Fueling / Fuel management
Float plan / Weather & sea conditions
Insurance considerations
Boating check list
Safe boating classes