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 or another rescue organization, should you not return as scheduled.  (Do not file float plan with the U S C G.)
  •   North Carolina Boating Checklist
  • Navigation Aids and Regulatory Markers: (Reference  PDF 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.