2017-06-01 / News

Coast Guard inspecting boats for safety equipment Sunday

Members of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will be in town Sunday to perform vessel safety checks, a federal test to determine if boaters are complying with the rules of the water.

The free inspection, to make sure all safety equipment is up to date and operable, includes checks for life jackets, registration, navigation lights, ventilation, fire extinguishers, flares and battery connections. Coast Guardsmen will be at the East and West ferry docks from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to complete checks for boaters on both sides of the island. Each inspection takes roughly 20 minutes, depending on the size of the boat. To make an appointment, boaters should call Vicki Morin at 714-8099.

According to Jamestown harbormaster Mark Campbell, vessels that pass the safety check are awarded a Coast Guard decal that informs harbor patrols the boat is in full compliance. While there is no penalty for not getting certified, Campbell said authorities routinely bypass boats that have the decal.

“The free vessel safety check provides boat owners the opportunity to have a knowledgeable and competent set of eyes take a look at the safety and operating equipment required by federal and state laws. Not only will this independent assessment help boaters be in compliance with the law, in an emergency, it could save their lives,” Campbell said. “The entire purpose of the program is to save lives through voluntary compliance (without) imposing fines or penalties. Oh yeah, did I mention that it’s free?”

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