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Boating Safety Archive

Boating Safety

Wear your Life Jacket!

Wear your life jacket!
Children under 12 boating in Oregon waters are generally required to wear a properly sized PFD. In Washington similar rules apply for vessels under 19 feet. It’s common sense and it’s the law.
Oregon Rules:
  • Children aged 12 and under are required to wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved PFD at all times while on an open deck or cockpit of vessels that are underway or being towed. PFDs must be securely fastened and be size appropriate for the wearer.
  • Every person on board a personal watercraft (PWC) or being towed must wear a Coast Guard approved Type I, II, or III PFD. Inflatable PFDs are not intended for use while participating in tow sports or other high impact sports, and do not meet the wear requirements for PWC operation.
Washington Rules:
  • All vessels must carry one Type I, II, or III USCG–approved PFD for each person on board.
  • In addition to the above requirement, vessels 16 feet in length or longer must have one Type IV USCG–approved PFD on board and immediately accessible.
  • All PFDs must be in good and serviceable condition and readily accessible. The PFDs must be of the proper size for the intended wearer. Sizing for PFDs is based on body weight and chest size.
  • Children 12 years old and younger must wear a USCG–approved life jacket at all times when underway in a vessel less than 19 feet in length, unless in a fully enclosed area.
  • Each person on board a personal watercraft must wear a USCG–approved PFD.
  • Each person being towed behind a vessel must wear a USCG–approved PFD
 Mandatory Boater Education In Oregon
ALL boaters need to carry a boater education card when operating powerboats Oregon State Boater's Education Card(including personal watercraft or any motorized watercraft) greater than 10 hp.
Law enforcement officers are issuing citations for non-compliance with the Mandatory Education Law.  Fines are $142
Youth 12-15 also need a boater education card when operating boats 0-10 hp alone. When operating a motorboat over 10 hp, a card-holding adult (16 or older, 18 for personal watercraft) must be in direct supervision (on-board, and able to immediately take corrective action in case of emergency).

The Coast Guard Auxiliary offers boater education classes that fulfill the state requirements.
Please see our

Boating Education Classes page for details. 

Madatory Boater Education in WashingtonWashington State Boater's Education Card, Age Requirements

 

In 2005, a law was passed requiring boat operators to take a boater safety education course in order to operate a boat in Washington state. The law applies to operators of motorboats with 15 horse power or greater.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary offers boater education classes that fulfill the state requirements. Once the course is completed and test passed, boaters need to send a completed application along with their class certificate for their card.
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Please see our Boating Education Classes page for details.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide and Your Boat

Are you aware of this silent but deadly killer. Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless and tasteless and mixes evenly with the air. It enters your bloodstream through the lungs and displaces the oxygen your body needs. Early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning – irritated eyes, headache, nausea, weakness, and dizziness – are often confused with seasickness or intoxication. Prolonged exposure to low concentrations or very short exposure to high concentrations can lead to death. More information…

Boating Under the InfluenceBoating Under the Influence
BUI is just as deadly as drinking and driving!
Every boater needs to understand the risks of boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs (BUI). It is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs in every state. The Coast Guard also enforces a federal law that prohibits BUI. This law pertains to ALL boats (from canoes and rowboats to the largest ships) – and includes foreign vessels that operate in U.S. waters, as well as U.S. vessels on the high seas. More information…
Take the Time to Prepare a Float Plan

Safe Boating Float Plan

The Float Plan is the world’s only life-saving device on paper.
Why should you take the time to prepare a float plan? The answer is simple… there are just too many facts that need to be accurately remembered and ultimately conveyed. You are counting on someone else, a friend, neighbor, or family member to remember detailed information that rescue personnel need in order to find you. Information that can make a difference in the outcome. Find out more at Float Plan Central.