Boating & Water Safety

Boating Safety

"Boating is a wonderful, diverse and healthy pastime. The more boaters learn, the safer they'll be and the more fun they'll have." - Linh Hoang, mandatory boating education marketing coordinator.

Know the laws - Washington State Boater Registration Card requirement took effect January 1, 2008. For more information on the requirements and Boater, Education Course options see the Department of Licensing Boat Resources page.

Great links to boating safety information:

Do You Have the Required Safety Equipment Aboard Your Boat?

Learn what the requirements are for Washington and avoid possible problems on the water. It may save your life or prevent you from receiving a ticket from law enforcement!

Water Safety

We live on an island...surrounded by the ocean, but water safety goes beyond the ocean. Learn about pool safety, beach safety and more using these links:

Learn to Swim


  • In our state, the intoxication limit for boaters is a 0.08% blood alcohol level, the same as it is for motorists. Federal law, enforced by the U.S. Coast Guard, prohibits boating under the influence (BUI)
  • Booze and Boats don't mix; nearly 50% of boating accidents can be traced to alcohol impairment. For more information visit the Operation Dry Water page
  • Life Jackets / Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs) increase the survivability of a person during a boating accident. Make sure you use Coast Guard approved devices and it's not a life jacket if you don't wear it
  • Drowning claims more than 4000 people (nationally) each year; most between the ages of 0 to 4