Arizona Lakes

How Safe Is Your Boat?

By Bill Coby, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary

With the boating season upon us, we pull the trailer to the ramp, launch the boat and jump in!

This is not always the best way to begin a safe boating season.

Many items need to be checked before making that cruise with family and friends.

When was the last time you checked your fire extinguishers, made sure that your navigation lights were working, that your lines were in good shape, or even your life preservers are in proper working order?

All of these and more items are checked in the Coast Guard Auxiliary Vessel Safety Check program.

 The Coast Guard Auxiliary Vessel Safety Check is offered free of charge to all boaters. It checks the safety features of all vessels.

If there is a problem, you are told how to correct it without penalty.

When all items are checked and are deemed safe, a safety seal window decal defines your vessel as a safe boat.

 Many Vessel Safety Check Stations are held at ramps and harbors. Watch for signs or contact your local Coast Guard Auxiliary, marina, or marine dealer for the nearest inspection station or person.

Or, visit

For over 60 years, tens-of-thousands of men and women of the Coast Guard Auxiliary have spent millions of volunteer hours helping the Coast Guard carry out its missions. 

For more information on America's Volunteer Lifesavers, visit