Operators of all vessels must comply with the requirements for the type and use of lights when anchored or underway from sunset to sunrise, or during times of limited visibility.
PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICES (Life Preservers)
Vessels less than 16 feet in length will have aboard a Type I, II, III or V personal flotation device for each person. Vessels 16 feet and over in length shall have aboard a U. S. Coast Guard approved Type I, II, III or V personal flotation device for each person and at least one Type IV on board as a throwable device. The Type V personal flotation device must be worn to be acceptable.
All persons under eight years of age, on any vessel, must, at all times, wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device that must be strapped, snapped or zipped securely in place; except, no personal flotation device is required when inside an enclosed cabin or enclosed sleeping space.
EMERGENCY ENGINE CUT-OFF SWITCH
No person shall operate or give permission to operate any vessel less than 24 feet in length, having an open cockpit and having more than 50 horsepower, unless said vessel is equipped with an emergency engine or motor shut-off switch. The cut-off switch must be a lanyard-type and must be attached to the person, clothing or personal flotation device of the operator.
It is unlawful to operate a vessel in a reckless manner upon the waters of this state. A person is guilty of reckless operation when he operates any vessel or manipulates any water skis or any other marine transportation device upon the waters of this state in a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property at a speed or in a manner to endanger or likely to endanger life or limb or property or cause injury to any person.
It is unlawful to operate a vessel in a careless manner upon the waters of this State. Careless operation is the endangerment of life, limb or property through negligence, carelessness or inattention of the operator.
The Roberson-Archer Act and The Boating Safety Enhancement Act of 2001 mandates that no one under the age of 12 may operate a motorized vessel, and that every vessel operator be licensed and have the license in possession at the time of operation. For more information on operator license requirements, see Fishing Regulations & Information.
Any person who was age 40 or older on April 28, 1994 is exempt from taking an approved boating course and/or the written exam. Persons who are age exempt are still required to obtain a boat operator’s license.
HOW AND WHERE TO GET YOUR LICENSE
OBSTRUCTION OF OPERATOR’S VIEW PROHIBITED
It shall be unlawful for the operator of a vessel, when the vessel is operated at or above plane speed, to position or allow the positioning of, persons or equipment, including but not limited to, seats, coolers, tackle, ski and tubing devices, in a manner that would obstruct the operator’s view, or would otherwise impair, the safe operation of the vessel while operating on the waters of the state. Sailboats and auxiliary sailboats are exempt from this section.
For more information on boating safety law and regulations, call the Marine Police Division at (334) 242-3673 or visit www.outdooralabama.com and click on Boating.
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.