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Boating Safety

Guidelines for boating under Covid-19 - here and here

There are several keys to staying safe while on the water. Among these, boaters are encouraged to take a boating safety course, become familiar with the boating state laws & regulations, know the "Rules of the Road", learn at least basic navigation, familiarize yourself with local navigational hazards, wear a lifejacket, get a free vessel safety check, file a float plan, know the current and predicted weather conditions, and boat sober. Boater education prevents accidents and saves lives.

Here are some resources to help you stay safe, and become a more confident boater.

Boating Safety

  • 1st Coast Guard District Local Notice to Mariners -  The USCG Local Notice to Mariners is updated weekly and is available for download in Portable Document File (PDF) Format.
  • American Boating Association Online - Working to promote boating safety, affordability, growth and a clean environment.
  • - On-line Boating Safety Course
  • Boat On Course - Educational boating safety videos from the National Safe Boating Council, teach the basic navigation rules of boating. Watch at your own pace, and test your knowledge at the end of each video.
  • Float Plan - Complete this float plan before you go boating and leave it with a reliable person who can be depended upon to notify the Coast Guard, or other rescue agency, should you not return or check-in as planned. If you have a change of plans, or will be delayed, notify the person holding your Float Plan. Additional information here.
  • IMO Home page - The International Maritime Organization is the United Nations' specialized agency responsible for improving maritime safety and preventing pollution from ships.
  • Massachusetts Boat and Recreation Safety Bureau
  • Massachusetts Boating Accident Report (BAR) - A BAR is required by the USCG (Fed33 CFR part 173) and by MGL CH90B§9(b) by any numbered vessel or any vessel used for recreational purposes that is involved in an accident that results in death, disappearance, injury beyond first aid or property damage in excess of $500.00.
  • National Safe Boating Council -- NSBC - The NSBC is the foremost coalition for the advancement and promotion of safer boating through education.
  • National Water Safety Program - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is one of the nation’s leading provider of outdoor recreation with over 400 lake and river projects in 43 states and more than 250 million visits per year. Please be careful in and around the water because even strong swimmers drown. Check out this website to find valuable tips and resources that could save your life or the life of someone you care about.
  • Operation Dry Water - Operation Dry Water (ODW) is a year-round boating under the influence awareness and enforcement campaign. The mission of ODW is to reduce the number of alcohol- and drug-related accidents and fatalities through increased recreational boater awareness and by fostering a stronger and more visible deterrent to alcohol use on the water.
  • Safe Boating Campaign - A program of the National Safe Boating Council. The Safe Boating Campaign is a worldwide effort focused on responsible boating, encouraging boaters to always wear a life jacket while on the water.
  • Sea Tow Foundation - For Boating Safety and Education. Sea Tow Foundation is the nonprofit part of the Sea Tow Family. We work to prevent recreational boating accidents and fatalities.
  • U.S. Coast Guards Boating Safety Division - The U.S. Coast Guards Boating Safety Division (CG-BSX-2) 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.
  • U.S. Coast Guards Boating Safety Division - Recalls
  • Vessel Safety Checks - 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.

Boating Safety Courses

  • Boaters Tests by BoaterEd.Com - Rules of the Road Test, Navigations Lights Test, Navigation Test, AB Seaman's Test and Safety Test
  • Boatwise® - Captains License Classes, Safe Boating Basics Classes - Classes in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island
  • New England Maritime - Captains License and Boating Safety Courses in Hyannis, MA, Marshfield and Marina Bay, Quincy. Courses may be offered at your facility with a minimum number of students.
  • United States Power Squadrons - We offer a wide range of boating courses and seminars for all levels, including boat handling, navigation, boating rules and regulations, marine electronics, boat maintenance in the classroom, online, and on the water.
  • U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary - U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary boating courses provide instruction to boaters at all levels, from the fundamental to the advanced. Our classes are taught by experienced and knowledgeable instructors committed to the highest standards of the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • More Here


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