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Posted on: May 19, 2023

Vessel Safety Check Day

Smooth sailing starts with a safe vessel! May 20-26, 2023 is National Safe Boating Week, and Walton County Parks and Recreation Department is proud to be partnering with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary to offer all Walton County residents a Vessel Safety Check Day with the U.S. Coast Guard. This event will take place at Grady Brown Park, located at 20940 US-331, Freeport, FL 32439, on Saturday, June 17th from 8:00 am to 11:30 am. This is a FREE event! You may register online at However, there is no commitment; we would like to give the inspectors an idea of how many citizens will attend so they are properly staffed.

The Vessel Safety Check program is a cornerstone of the U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary's recreational boating safety mission. A Vessel Safety Check (VSC) is a free lookover of your boat, PWC or paddle craft and its equipment for compliance with federal and state safety requirements. The vessel can be on trailer or safely docked in the water. If your vessel meets all the VSC requirements, it is awarded a VSC decal valid for the current calendar year.

The USCGAux Vessel Examiners performing your VSC have been trained to look for the more common problems, which might occur in your vessel or with its safety equipment. Some of the items your examiner will check include: boat registration, life jackets, distress signals, fire extinguishers, sound-producing devices, and navigation lights. The Examiner will indicate any items that need correction prior to awarding the VSC decal.

Also during your VSC, the Vessel Examiner will talk with you about the purpose of specific marine safety equipment, discuss certain safety practices and answer any related questions you have. Some topics discussed may include survival tips, boat fuel management, interpreting sea conditions, and how to report accidents. 

Your examiner is also available to clarify various federal and state regulations for boating in your area. For example, for anyone born on or after January 1, 1988, who will be operating a boat in Florida waters with an engine of ten (10) horsepower or more, the law requires them to complete an approved boating safety course and obtain a Florida Boating Safety ID Card. This card is not a boating license, it is a certification that the person named on the card has successfully completed the required boating safety course.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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