Laws and Safety

Every year, thousands of boating enthusiasts take to the waterways of North Carolina to fish, sail, water ski, and pursue other vessel-based recreation. Wildlife Officers enforce the boating laws and navigation regulations on the waters of the state, always with the aim of safety. Officers may stop any vessel for safety checks or violations, as authorized by N.C.G.S. §75A and conduct boating accident investigations. 

Boating Regulations:
State laws for operating vessels on public waterways

Rules of the Water:
Navigation and maneuverability, including right-of-way

No Wake Zone Info:
Areas in which vessels are required to travel at idling speed – a slow speed that creates no appreciable wake.  

Clean Vessel Act:
Boaters must dispose of human waste in an environmentally safe manner at pumpout and dump stations. The Clean Vessel Act provides funds to build pumpout and dump stations.

Preserve Your Life:
The “Preserve Your Life” campaign raises awareness about the importance of wearing a life jacket.

Wake Responsibly:
Guidelines on how to use a wakeboard responsibly.

Abandoned and Derelict Vessel Program: The NCWRC inspects, investigates and removes abandoned and derelict vessels along the coastline.