New boat engine cutoff switch law starts April 1

Generic boat photo
Generic boat photo(Source: Pixabay)
Published: Mar. 21, 2021 at 4:47 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Department of Wildlife Resources is reminding boaters that ere are new engine cutoff device wear requirements going into effect on April 1.

The new requirement applies to recreational boat operators as part of the January 1, 2021 passage of the National Defense Authorization Act that included a U.S. Coast Guard Reauthorization.

“These devices, commonly referred to as engine cutoff switches (ECOS), are designed to prevent a boat-strike injury if an operator is accidentally ejected overboard while underway,” a release said.

The new law applies to federally navigable waterways and will be enforced by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Effective April 1, 2021, the new law requires a vessel operator to use either a helm or outboard lanyard or wireless ECOS on certain vessels less than 26 feet when traveling on plane or above displacement speed. These vessels include (1) boats that have a functioning engine cutoff device installed at the helm or on an outboard engine or have wireless ECOS, or (2) boats manufactured beginning January 2020,” a release said.

For more information, click here.

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