We hope that safety is a chief consideration in preparation for your weekend plans on the water as, this year alone, we’ve already had multiple deaths on the Potomac River. Two of those deaths involved brothers on the first day of Rockfish season when their boat overturned while fishing near Mattawoman Creek.  Neither were wearing life jackets.

Why is a Vessel Safety Check so important?  Safety!

A Vessel Safety Check provides peace of mind that your boat meets federal safety standards, and that in an emergency, you will have the necessary equipment to save lives and summon help. In many cases, boating insurance agencies offer discounts for vessels which undergo a Vessel Safety Check every year.

Vessel Safety Checks are a FREE service provided by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and other organizations. If your boat does not pass, there is no citation issued. Instead, you’re provided a written report and guidance on how to correct any deficiencies.

In the image below, you’ll see a discovery made by one of our members last weekend when conducting a Vessel Safety Check with an experienced boater. He connected his engine battery to his generator battery when he put his boat back in the water. He removed the jumper cables from the engine battery, clamping it to the wire. However, he forgot to remove the jumper cables from the generator battery afterwards.  He was very lucky, as the jumper cables melted and did NOT start a fire.

Melted Jumper Cables

To prepare for a Vessel Safety Check, please visit the Virtual Safety Check webpage. Here, you can review the 15 items inspected to help ensure you pass with flying colors.

Please don’t forget to check your fire extinguishers to see if they were included in the Kiddie Fire Extinguisher Recall. Kiddie has made the replacement process very simple.

For a FREE Vessel Safety Check, please visit our website and use the Contact Us form, or message us on Facebook to request one. Or, if you’re not in the Stafford area, please visit the Coast Guard Auxiliary Vessel Safety Check Request website.