Boating Safety Checks Up for 4th of July Weekend

By Alex Rose

Published 07/04 2014 06:59PM

Updated 07/04 2014 07:31PM

Burlington, Vt.- When you're out on the water this weekend, someone from State Police won't be too far away.

They can pull you over at any time, and there are certain things you need to pass a safety inspection.

"The number one thing we look out for is this right here," said Vermont State Police Marine Division Auxiliary Trooper Dan Begiebing. He’s referring to the life vest he’s wearing.

To comply with the US Coast Guard, there needs to be one life vest per person on a boat, and Vermont law says if you're 12 or younger, you need to be wearing one at all times.

"We want people to have that safety equipment so they can survive the incident, and just have it be an incident, and not something worse," Begiebing said.

Depending on the construction of your boat, you may need a fire extinguisher. If that's the case, make sure it has a full charge.

Also if you were born before January 1st 1974, you are required by the state to take a boating safety course. After completing that, you will receive a boat safety card that will be a part of the check.

Once everything checks out, an officer will give you a sticker for your windshield.

"So we're less intrusive for them,” Begiebing said. “We only have to do it once."

If fishing is your angle to have a good time, be sure you're carrying a license. State Game Wardens will make sure you're within fishing regulation.

The best way to avoid accidents is to be alert.

"Be cognizant of other boaters out there,” said State Game Warden Rob Currier. “It will be a crowded weekend most likely, it usually is. I stress everybody to know the navigation rules, and to be aware of other boats in the area."

While State Game Wardens usually enforce fishing and hunting rules, they can also carry out these safety checks.

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