PADDLERsmart! USA Knowledge Base

Module 04 - Safe Boat Operation



Homeland Security Measures are in place at the federal, state and the local level to protect American citizens. It’s critical that all boaters understand the following federal rules and regulations:

  • You must observe and avoid all security zones, including military ships and stations.
  • You must operate at minimum speed when within 500 yards of any Coast Guard naval boat.
  • Never operate your paddle craft within 100 yards of any U.S. naval boat, commercial fishing boat or cruise ship.
  • You must observe and avoid commercial port operation areas.
  • You must observe and avoid restricted areas, such as petroleum facilities, power plants, dams, etc.
  • Never dock, idle or stop when paddling under a bridge.
  • Report any suspicious activities you witness to the Coast Guard or to local law authorities. For your own safety, never approach boaters who are behaving in a suspicious manner.



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