Boating Inspection Means Safety on the Seas

The weather is hot and more and more boaters are hitting the waters for some fun in the sun. But a fun day out on the waters could turn dangerous if boaters don't have the proper safety equipment. Saturday, members of the United States Power Squadron had a free vessel safety check in Gautier. Most boaters say the checks can be a life saver.

"People that are amateurs, people that are new, and even a lot of the old timers have just gotten use to looking over things, and we've lost too many lives on the Coast," said boater Jim McDole.

"It's extremely important. Things start happening real fast when you're out there at sea," said boater Dan Cambre.

The examination is very detailed. Examiner Craig Edwards, says they check both federal and state safety requirement.

"Want to check life preservers, fire extinguishers, visual distress, which are flares," says Edwards.

If a boater meets the requirements, they get a safety inspection sticker that's good for a year. If not, they are given the opportunity to make changes on the boat to make it safe.

"A navigation light up forward. It's probably got corrosion or something, but I'm prepared to fix it. I will get my sticker before I leave today," said McDole.

"I had everything except for a blast horn, which I'll probably get at the base shop over here," said Cambre.

The inspection stickers themselves are not a requirement. But examiners do check to make sure boaters meet all state and federal safety requirements. If you are interested in getting your boat inspected, you can call Mary Walker Marina at (228) 497-3141.