Start Your Boating Summer Safely with a Free Vessel Safety Check from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary

Thursday, June 14, 2012

MIAMI - U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Vessel Examiner James Simpson inspects safety equipment during a complementary Vessel Safety Check. Vessel Examiners perform thousands of free Vessel Safety Checks across the U.S. each boating season. U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary photo.

With Memorial Day now behind us, the summer boating season is “officially” under way.  Now is the time to get a Vessel Safety Check (VSC)!

A VSC is a complementary safety inspection of a recreational boat conducted by a trained and certified U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or U.S. Power Squadron Vessel Examiner.  A VSC helps to ensure your vessel meets current Federal safety standards.  Items reviewed during the VSC include number, type, and condition of life jackets and fire extinguishers, emergency distress signals, navigation lights, ventilation, and registration and numbering. While not mandatory, a marine VHF-FM radio, dewatering device(s), anchor, and a first aid kit are also recommended.

Boats passing safety checks are awarded a VSC decal that indicates your boat was in full compliance with all Federal and State boating safety regulations at the time of inspection.  A successful VSC may also qualify you for a discount from your boat insurance company.  If your vessel does not meet the requirements, your Vessel Examiner will provide you with information on what corrective action needs to be taken to bring your boat into compliance to receive your VSC decal.  No citations are issued for safety violations discovered during a VSC.  

To locate a vessel examiner in your area, please visit:

Get your Vessel Safety Check today and BOAT SMART FROM THE START!


Tags: , ,


Leave a Comment

We welcome your comments on postings at all Coast Guard sites/journals. These are sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard to provide a forum to talk about our work providing maritime safety, security and stewardship for the American people to secure the homeland, save lives and property, protect the environment, and promote economic prosperity.

The information provided is for public information only and is not a distress communication channel. People in an emergency and in need of Coast Guard assistance should use VHF-FM Channel 16 (156.8 MHz), dial 911, or call their nearest Coast Guard unit.

All comments submitted are moderated. The Coast Guard retains the discretion to determine which comments it will post and which it will not. We expect all contributors to be respectful. We will not post comments that contain personal attacks of any kind; refer to Coast Guard or other employees by name; contain offensive terms that target specific ethnic or racial groups, or contain vulgar language. We will also not post comments that are spam, are clearly off topic, or that promote services or products.

The U.S. Coast Guard disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from any comments posted on this page. This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

If you have specific questions regarding a U.S. Coast Guard program that involves details you do not wish to share publicly please contact the program point of contact listed at

The U.S. Coast Guard will not collect or retain Personally Identifiable Information unless you voluntarily provide it to us. To view the U.S. Coast Guards Privacy Policy, please visit:

Please note: Anonymous comments have been disabled for this journal. It is preferred that you use your real name when posting a comment. WE WILL POST THE NAME YOU ENTER WHEN YOU SUBMIT YOUR COMMENT. Also, you are welcome to use Open ID or other user technologies that may be available.