Report A Crime
Our Organization
Our Response Areas
For Your Safety
Our Newsroom
Print this PageSite Feedback
Seasonal Tips for Area Lake Users

Be prepared - a good boating tip

The boating season is finally upon us. Many boat owners have conducted their annual ritual of de-winterizing and cleaning their boat to prepare for the water. In addition, they have checked all their safety equipment well in advance to ensure it is onboard and in good working order.

On the other hand, many will pull off the cover or tarp, grab the jumper cables, start the boat and off they go! They're positive everything was left on the boat from last season that will be necessary for a day on the lake--and this is the group that will keep law enforcement and the towing services very busy.

Everyone should prepare their boat prior to arriving at the launch ramp. To assist you in making your day on the lake safe and enjoyable, the following is a list of what is required by law to have on board your vessel. In addition, we will recommend other equipment that is not mandatory but is a good idea to have on hand.

Every vessel operating on the waters of this state shall have the following:

  • A certificate of numbers on board and in full force and effect.
  • Registration numbers displayed on both sides of the vessel, on the front portion of the bow, in three-inch solid block letters of contrasting color to the hull with the validation sticker following the registration on the starboard (right) side and spaced as follows: NC 1234 AB or NC-1234-AB.
  • The proper type and size personal flotation device (PFD) for each person onboard in good condition and readily accessible.
  • All children under the age of 13 aboard a vessel that is underway, must wear an approved PFD, unless below deck or in an enclosed cabin.
  • A USCG approved type IV PFD throwable cushion or ring buoy for boats over 16 feet in length
  • The following lights for night operation: Red to port, green to starboard, 360 degree white all around light, or 135 degree stern light and 225 degree masthead light. Sailboats under sail alone shall exhibit the combined lantern (red to port, green to starboard) and 135 degree stern light, but no 225 degree masthead light.
  • Gas powered boats with closed construction require fire extinguishers (size and number vary according to length of boat), ventilation systems, and flame arrestors.
  • Whistle or sound producing device.

  • Recommended equipment:

  • Cell Phone
  • VHF radio
  • Paddle
  • Anchor
  • Depth gauge
  • First Aid Kit
  • Lake Chart (Lake Map)