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Boating Safety & Critical Equipment

Don’t Leave Home Without It!

Life Jackets

One correctly sized life jacket is required by law for each person on board. Children under the age of 13-years-old must wear it.

Type IV Flotation Aid

Any boat 16 feet or longer must carry a type IV throwable cushion or ring.

Fire Extinguisher

Most boats that use gasoline must carry one, and it must be charged. Larger boats need two or even three fire extinguishers.

Engine Cut-Off Switch

An Engine cut-off switch or kill switch, are a time-proven safety device used to stop the boats engines should the driver unexpectedly fall overboard.

Muffling Device

Every boat must be properly muffled.

Water Ski and Dive Flags

If you ski or dive you need to display the appropriate signal flag.

Sound Producing Device

All boats must carry a horn, whistle or other sound producing device.


If the boat breaks down, an anchor is essential for protecting yourself and your boat, although not legally required.

Visual Distress Signals

Though not required, signal flares and flags can attract attention if the need arises.

Follow the Boating Safety Seven

If you remember nothing else about boating rules, remember the Boating Safety Seven. Boating can be a fun activity for the entire family, but you should go boating with safety in mind to make sure your great day on the water doesn’t turn sour. NDOW reminds you to have a good time, and be just makes sense.

1. Wear your life jacket

2. Take a boating education course (Visit to learn more)

3. Carry all your required safety gear

4. Know your boat and its limitations

5. Follow the boating “rules of the road”

6. Be aware of weather and water conditions

7. Boat sober and be considerate of other boaters

Report Wildlife Crime with New NDOW Tip App

“NDOW Tip” allows the public to report information on wildlife crime or suspicious activity via a new free smartphone app.

  • Send a report through the app or connect directly to the Operation Game Thief (OGT) hotline.
  • Download the app on your iPhone or Android through app stores.
  • Send in pictures or video to the department.