DECEMBER 30, 2015 — The U.S. Coast Guard has issued a safety alert reminding recreational boaters and commercial vessel operators to use caution when operating their vessels near areas where dredging operations may be taking place.
"There have been too many instances where outboard motor propelled vessels have allided with a dredge pipe causing the motor to recoil into the boat and strike the occupants or eject them from the vessel," says the alert. "Operators should always be on the lookout for floating debris and unmarked hazards and operate at a speed that allows them to see and avoid the hazards."
The alert also reminds commercial entities performing dredging in waterways to make sure all components of pipelines are properly marked and accounted for regardless of the recreational boating season and locations where dredging is taking place. Displaying proper lights and shapes in accordance with the Navigation Rules is a federal requirement applicable to all inland waters and the U.S. side of the Great Lakes.
Failure to follow these regulations may result in federal fines or penalties in addition to any civil lawsuits that may be filed.
The Coast Guard strongly recommends recreational boaters, commercial vessel operators, boat repair facilities and others to immediately report issues associated with improperly marked or unmarked dredging components to the nearest Coast Guard unit.
Download the report HERE