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New Federal Boating Law Requires Engine Cut-Off Switch Link

Powerboat with family

What's the new law?

On April 1, 2021 a new federal law went into effect that requires the operator of a boat with an installed Engine Cut-Off Switch (ECOS) to use the ECOS link. The link is usually a coiled bungee cord lanyard clipped onto the operator's person, Personal Floatation Device (PFD) or clothing and the other end attached to the cut-off switch, but there are plenty of variations on the market, including electronic wireless devices.  The law applies on all "Navigable Waters of the US".

How does an ECOS work?

When an operator is wearing a link while underway, the engine will cut-off if the operator is separated from the operating area, an occurrence that can happen if the operator is ejected from the vessel or falls within the vessel.  The shutdown of the engine is essential for safety reasons.  If the operator is ejected from the vessel, the shutdown may prevent the operator from impacting the vessel's spinning propeller, and may aid the operator in safely returning to the drifting vessel.

Does this law apply to me?

The law applies to "Covered Recreational vessels" which means any motorized boat with 3 or more horsepower that is less than 26 feet in length.

 

You can find this information and more about this new law at the US Coast Guard's Boaters website.

 

Are you a boater?

If you boat in the Sebastian Inlet, please download a copy of the Sebastian Inlet Navigation Guide HERE and review our tips for safe and fun boating:

BOATING SAFETY TIPS.pdf

 

About the Sebastian Inlet District

The Sebastian Inlet District was created in 1919 as an independent special taxing district by act of the Florida State Legislature, and chartered to maintain the navigational channel between the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian River.  The Sebastian Inlet District’s responsibilities include state mandated sand bypassing, erosion control, environmental protection and public safety.  The Sebastian Inlet supports a rich and diverse ecological environment that is unparalleled in North America.  The Inlet is vital not only to the ecological health of the Indian River Lagoon, but it is also an important economic engine for local communities in the region.  Known as the premier surfing, fishing, boating and recreational area on the east coast of Florida, the inlet is one of only five navigable channels that connect the Indian River lagoon to the Atlantic Ocean.