USCG Enacting New Engine Cut Off Law

Recreational boaters should take heed of a new law the U.S. Coast Guard is enacting this season that requires an engine cut-off switch (ECOS) and associated ECOS link on recreational vessels less than 26 feet long.

These are safety measures in case a boater is thrown from his or her vessel. The ECOSL is a cord that attaches the boater to the engine-shutoff switch. There are also approved wireless versions that use “an electronic ‘fob’ that is carried by the operator and senses when it is submerged in water, activating the ECOS and turning the engine off,” according to the USCG.

“Emergency cut-off switches protect all members of the boating public,” Lt. Collin Gruin, the Coast Guard Sector Columbia River boarding team supervisor, explained. “In the Pacific Northwest in 2019, 26 boating accidents involved boat operators being ejected from the vessel or falling overboard. An engine cut-off switch, when used properly, prevents a runaway vessel from causing more harm in these types of accidents.”

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By Pacific Maritime