HAMPTON ROADS — As the weather in Hampton Roads cools and boating season starts to wind down, vessel safety continues to be of the utmost importance.
As a public service, members of the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Auxiliary are offering free Vessel Safety Checks through out the year at various locations on the Hampton Roads Peninsula.
On Saturday mornings through October Flotilla 63, the USCG Auxiliary out of Poquoson and York County, give inspections at the Huntington Park boat ramps in Newport News.
When inspecting a boat, auxiliary members make sure the boat’s registration is in order, that there are enough personal flotation devices, visual distress signals and fire extinguishers.
The inspections are free of charge and voluntary. When a boat passes inspection, the owner will receive a USCG decal and the peace of mind knowing that the boat is in good condition and contains all the right equipment.
There is no penalty for failing an inspection. If a boat has a problem or is missing equipment, the inspector will give the boater detailed instructions on how to replace it.
Auxiliarists have no law enforcement authority so any findings are recommendations only; results are not given to any law enforcement agencies.
For more information on the Vessel Safety Check Program, including an inspection checklist and how to schedule an inspection, check out the USCG Auxiliary website.