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Homeland Security

Practice Boating Safety

Each year, too many Americans are injured or killed due to preventable recreational boating accidents on U.S. waterways. You ­– as a boat operator, passenger, or concerned individual – can make a difference.

Start Here

The U.S. Coast Guard's Boating Safety Division (CG-5422) is dedicated to reducing loss of life, injuries, and property damage that occur on U.S. waterways by improving the knowledge, skills, and abilities of recreational boaters.  As part of its public outreach mission, it has a host of useful information available online via the Boating Safety Resource Center.  Here you can find:

  • Boat Safety Tips and Resources – Learn how to conduct a vessel safety check, how to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning,  why life jackets matter, initiatives to stop boating under the influence and how to report accidents
  • Boating Safety Courses – Find the class that is right for you, available both online or offline for sailors, power-boat operators, paddlers and more
  • Navigation Rules – Avoid collisions by knowing the rules for visual, audible or electronic communications with your fellow boaters
  • Report Boating Accidents – It is the law


Wear your life jacket!

Seventy-nine percent of 2011 recreational boat drownings occurred when boaters did not wear a life jacket. By buckling up while on a boat, you become much safer.

Last Published Date: July 19, 2015

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