New Boating Law Implemented by Coast Guard Requires Engine Cut-Off Switch

by: JonChristopher Collins

The U.S. Coast Guard is implementing a new law passed by Congress on April 1, 2021; the new law is a regulation pertaining to boating, and according to it requires “operators of recreational vessels less than 26 feet in length” to use an engine cut-off switch (ECOS) and the associated ECOS link (ECOSL).

This new measure will help to prevent threats like runaway vessels. In short, the operator is connected to a switch that turns off the vessel’s engine should the operator be “displaced from the helm” at the time. When an operator falls off or is unexpectedly thrown from the boat, there is a possibility of injury or death.

Of course, if the operator is somehow displaced, the machinery continues to operate with nobody at the helm. The vessel operator could be in the water and in danger of the boat eventually hitting them with the propeller. “These dangerous runaway vessel situations put the ejected operator, other users of the waterway, marine law enforcement officers, and other first responders in serious danger.”

More information can be found on this Frequently Asked Questions page on the U.S. Coast Guard Web Site.

Click below for interview with Dan Maresh with the Local US Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 5-3 from Friday’s Ozarks Now program.


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