This year, why not be safe! Get a Free Vessel Safety Check
For boaters of all ages and all size vessels, safety of your family and friends, who boat with you, should be all important. What better way to
know that your vessel has all the appropriate safety gear, then with a
Vessel Safety Check (VSC).
Whether you're a PWC user or a sailor, power boater or kayaker, the US Coast Guard Auxiliary provides free Vessel Safety Checks for all
non-commercial boaters (there are also programs for un-inspected passenger vessels and commercial fishing vessels). From the official VSC web site
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 or the US Power Squadrons 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 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.
Here are suggestions to speed you along to getting the coveted VSC
1. Have your registration (or documentation papers handy).
2. Make sure your PFD (personal flotation devices) are in an
accessible location and not in the original plastic bags!
3. Make sure your visual distress devices (flares, orange smoke and
other pyrotechnic devices) are not expired. Pyrotechnic devices have a
three (3) year shelf life.
4. Make sure your fire extinguisher's are a) fully charged, b)
sufficient in numbers and types for your vessel and c) appropriately
attached per the label (to be USCG Approved).
5. Make sure your horn works, and if your boat requires it, you
have a bell.
6. Check your navigation lights. Many times the bulbs blow.
7. Boats 26 feet and over require a Pollution and MARPOL placard.
Many times you can get them for free at area marinas and boat stores.
8. Vessels over 39.4 feet require a copy of the Rules of the Road
How do you get a Vessel Safety Check?
You can go to the following Web
Sites on Long Island: Freeport Flotilla 13-06 at
http://www.freeportflotilla1306.org , or the USCG Auxiliary National
Vessel Safety Check web site http://safetyseal.net.
By Wayne Spivak,
US Coast Guard Auxiliary
Freeport Flotilla 13-06