Safe Boating Tips
United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Wilmington

The boat should be checked to determine that it is good working condition. The boat 
should have clean bilges and free of fire hazards.

Safety equipment, required by law should be checked to see that it is aboard and that 
it is in good condition.

Visual Distress Signals should be checked to determine that they are within the 
expiration date.

PFDs (life jackets) should be check for mildew and their general condition. PFDs of 
different sizes should be aboard. New Federal Law requires children under 13 unless in 
a enclosed cabin to wear a PFD at all times. 


Check the local weather report and tide chart for your area before going out on the water.

Know the basic navigation rules and increase your knowledge by enrolling in a boat safety 
class offered by Flotilla 10-06.

Be familiar with the Aids to Navigation (Traffic Signs) and what they mean.

Check your fire extinguisher monthly  to insure that: pressure gauges or indicators read in 
the operable range, that is is no physical damage, leakage or clogged nozzles. Fire 
extinguishers should be readily accessible and mounting is recommended.

Maintain safe speeds at all times.

Maintain a unobstructed view in all directions at all times. Most boating collisions are caused 
by inattention.

Passengers should stay within the boat. They should not bow ride, nor sit on the gunwale 
and transom.

Prepare a Float Plan. Information left with a trusted friend or family member not going on the 
boat with you. A float plan contains a description of the boat, including name and if the boat is 
trailed, a description of the towing vehicle and trailer with license plate numbers, survival 
equipment, trip route, and number of passengers.

Boaters may call Flotilla 10-06 of the Coast Guard Auxiliary for further information. For a 
boating class 910.686.4479 or for a free boat examination 910.793.0436. 

Boat Smart From the Start!

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U S Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 10-6 Wilmington, NC.