Rules of the Water

  • Every boat operator has the obligation to take whatever action is necessary to avoid an accident.
  • File a Float Plan: Document essential information or fill out a form about your excursion and leave it with a reliable person who can be depended upon to notify the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) or another rescue organization, should you not return as scheduled. (Do not file float plan with the USCG.)
  •   North Carolina Boating Checklist
  • Navigation Aids and Regulatory Markers: Reference Vessel Operator's Guide, page 17-19.
  • Passing: When one vessel overtakes another going in the same direction, the craft being overtaken must maintain course and speed, and the passing vessel must keep a sufficient distance to avoid collision or endangering the other craft from its wake.
  • Report Boating Accidents: Boating accidents that occur on public waters must be reported to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission (24-hour toll free at 800-662-7137) when any one of the following occur:
    - Loss of life, an injury requiring medical treatment or a person is unconscious or left disabled for 24 hours
    - Actual physical damage to property (including vessels) is in excess of $2,000
    - A person disappears from the vessel under circumstances that indicate death or injury.