Every year the Coast Guard Auxiliary provides free vessel safety checks for all boaters. The checks provide important safety information to ensure each boater is prepared for any and all emergency situations that may arise. Once a vessel passes the safety check, the Coast Guard Auxiliary will dispense a vessel safety check sticker. This will show the Coast Guard that this vessel has all of the safety requirements for safe boating.
Vessel safety checks normally begin in June of each year. However, this year, due to COVID-19 stand downs, the auxiliary was unable to do safety exams until this weekend.
For boaters who think they will forgo the exam this year, the auxiliary encourages you to rethink this idea. Most people who are new boaters think if they fail the safety check, they would be reported to the State Police or the Coast Guard, but nothing could be further from the truth. The Coast Guard Auxiliary is dedicated to reducing loss of life, injuries, and property damage that occurs on U.S. waterways by improving the knowledge, skill and abilities of recreational boaters.
Vessel safety checks are provided for motor boats up to 65 feet, paddle boats (canoes, kayaks and stand up paddle boards) and personal water craft (jet skis). There are different requirements for each type of watercraft. Some of the tips we provide are that all boaters should wear a personal flotation device equipped with a whistle and a signalling mirror. Both could be used to call for help. We also suggest attaching a 25-foot rope to your throwable life preserver so that after you throw the life preserver to a victim, you will be able to pull them in, instead of having them float aimlessly still requiring help to safety.
To request your vessel safety check, please contact your local Coast Guard Auxiliary. Cape May Flotilla 08-02 can be reached at 609-898-0442. Auxiliarists who are trained vessel examiners can provide individuals, groups, clubs or marinas a vessel safety check day. It is always best to be prepared for the worse when it comes to boating.
The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed volunteer component of Team Coast Guard.It was founded in 1939 by an act of Congress as the U.S. Coast Guard Reserves and re-designated the auxiliary in 1941. The 26,000-plus volunteer men and women members donate millions of hours in support of Coast Guard missions.