The Drum Point Flotilla Vessel Examiners perform Vessel Safety Checks free of charge. This is one of the flotilla’s primary boating safety activities. Our Flotilla generally does VSC’s within our own Area of Responsibility, AOR14 which encompasses most of Southern Maryland South of Chesapeake Beach.
There are a couple of ways for you to request a Vessel Safety Check. By the way, we come to your boat, and it does not cost you a cent to have us visit. You can locate a Vessel Examiner close to you by using the Coast Guard Auxiliary‘s SafetySeal.net website. The SafetySeal.net site is the best place to look for a an Examiner if you live outside of our AOR. You may also complete the Contact Vessel Examiner form on this website if you are in our AOR or were previously referred to the Drum Point Flotilla by the Coast Guard, or Department of Natural Resources Police.
There is a Virtual Safety Check at SafetySeal.net that the general public can perform at their own vessel. This virtual VSC walks you through the same examination a certified examiner performs. Performing this Virtual Safety Check is a great idea. You might even want to distill the Virtual Safety Check into a Pre-Underway Checklist.
The Upside to a VSC
The upside to a Vessel Safety Check is that anytime the Coast Guard or Department of Natural Resources Police stop you for a boarding they see from your VSC sticker for the current year that you have taken the opportunity to make sure you have the right safety equipment on board.
Having the sticker does not prevent a boarding but it does mean that you are an aware boater that cares about boating safely. When you are stopped and boarded by law enforcement authorities and they discover you are not carrying required safety equipment, the authorities have the option to require you to return to the closest port. You do not want to be put in this position. That’s the upside to the Vessel Safety Check – you KNOW you are a safe boater.
When an Examiner discovers missing equipment the Examiner advises you to make the correction(s.) No sticker is issued but the Examiner will visit your vessel again when you have made the required updates to your safety equipment.
Please check the National Vessel Examination site SafetySeal.net regularly, especially issues of the Safety Sake Newsletter. The newsletter may contain technical information you require for inspections.
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