This page last updated 05/28/2020


 Be sure to visit the American Boating Channel!


CPR/First Aid Class

The Difference Between Laws and Regulations

Official Boater Safety Courses and Safety Education Materials



New Life Jacket Labels (power point)

New Life Jacket Labels (PDF)



Important Information on Life Jackets

A new 9-minute video regarding inflatable life jackets has been released recently by The Corps Foundation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The video is titled "Inflatable Life Jackets: Everything You Need To Know" and is available at:

Use this as an additional tool for your Instructors to use in class. Spread the word among members to help with understanding
this sometimes mysterious subject.



Boat Live 365 Year Around

Click here for more information on Boat Live 365



Electric Shock Drowning Prevention Association

Click Here for more information on Electric Shock Drowning


Click below for child's life jackets information.

“America’s Boating Channel Video Archive”

Important information about Children's Life Jackets Sizing

Please view and share the above very important child/infant PFD safety message. Thank you.


Child PFD Failure

The attached video Below is very disturbing to us at National Boating Federation!

To be sure, we have not had this showing of performance in all the time we have been working with the United States Coast Guard on PFD labeling and ratings, and that has been some time. To that end, we are also sending this directly to our contacts at USCG as well as to United States Power Squadron, so they can further verify this performance AND to notify their constituents, as we are notifying ours with this posting.

As you know, there is nothing more important to us at National Boating Federation than your safety! Though we work on many legislative issues in both national and local areas on your behalf, none of that matters if there is any concern for safety!

Perhaps the very best thing you can do right now is be aware of this situation, and oversee your youngsters with even greater attention than normal.

Let’s ALL be safe out there!

National Boating Federation President

Make sure your child's life jacket fits! 




USCG Recommendations for Vessel Safety Check Decal awarding with Recalled Kidde extinguishers.

Even if the fire extinguisher is part of the recall, it's still a CG approved extinguisher and counts towards any CG carriage requirement. Assuming the fire extinguisher criteria (see VSC Manual, chapter 3, para B5) is met, continue to issue a decal even if the VE finds a recalled extinguisher filling a carriage requirement.  In the event that a VE encounters a recalled extinguisher, it is recommended annotating the VSC form with an asterisk next to item 5, Fire Extinguishers and writing the word RECALL in the space to the right.  The VE should also discuss the implications of the recall and issue a paper copy of the recall with the completed VSC form."


March 21, 2018:

Kidde recalls nearly 500,000 smoke alarms that could be faulty. Models P12010 and P19010 Dated between Sept. 10, 2016 and Oct 13, 2017 are the effected units. Units sold at Wal-Mart, Home Depot and Menards, as well as online through and other sellers.




Kidde Recalls Fire Extinguishers with Plastic Handles Due to Failure to Discharge and Nozzle Detachment: One Death Reported.

110 and Excel FX Identification Guide

Name of product:

Kidde fire extinguishers with plastic handles


The fire extinguishers can become clogged or require excessive force to discharge and can fail to activate during a fire emergency.In addition, the nozzle can detach with enough force to pose an impact hazard.



Recall date:

November 2, 2017

Recall number:


Pindicator ID Guide

Consumer Contact:

Kidde toll-free at 855-271-0773 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday, or online at and click on “Product Safety Recall” for more information or link below.


Examiners Test Your Mustang Life Jacket

We are always told as a Vessel Examiner to wear our life jackets to project the idea of safety to the boating public. I am sure that most VEs have done so over the past 8 years that we have had them.

Now as we head into the boating season and all of the associated activities, I would suggest that the first thing a VE should do is examine and test his/her Mustang Inflatable life jacket. This operation is suggested to be performed every 2 to 3 months. I bet you have not even done it once in the 8 years you have had the jackets. I am suggesting this exercise because we have found a few jackets that won't hold air. If one of these are found I suggest that it be destroyed and disposed of because the total life expectancy is only 10 years.

So how do we test our jacket? Open it up along the Velcro seams as shown in Figure 1 until it looks like figure 2. Then remove the cap on the oral inflation tube (shown in figure 2) and inflate the Life Jacket orally.


Lifejacket Fig 1

Fig 1

Lifejacket Fig 2

Fig 2


Then keep the jacket inflated over night. If it fails to hold air all night it is defective. If it holds air ok, then reverse the oral inflation cap and compress the jacket to remove all of the air. Once deflated, replace the cap to its original position and fold the sides back and press the Velcro seams to hold the jacket together.

Now if you happen to really need the jacket while doing a VSC (Heaven forbid you fall into the water) the life jacket would be known to be useable.





Vessel Examiners should be aware of the capabilities and approvals of the SIRIUS SOS C-1001 electronic distress light. This light is acceptable as a nighttime visual distress signal.

SIRIUS has included a daytime distress flag in the SOS C-1001 packaging so that it can market the package as a solution for a combined day/night signal, and as a replacement for flares. As long as the SIRIUS Signal Model SOS C-1001 is carried in conjunction with an acceptable daytime distress signal, this satisfies the daytime/nighttime signaling requirement.

All electronic visual distress signals, in order to be acceptable, must be legibly and indelibly marked with the statement: “Night Visual Distress Signal for Boats Complies with U.S. Coast Guard Requirements in 46 CFR §161.013. For Emergency Use Only”, and must also be marked with the manufacturer’s name, replacement battery type and lamp size.
If an electric light is designed for use with dry cell batteries the label must advise the consumer on the battery replacement schedule, which under normal conditions would maintain performance requirements of 46 §CFR 161.013-3
When conducting a vessel safety check, all Auxiliary Vessel Examiners (VEs)and Power Squadron examiners are to check/verify this piece of safety equipment in accordance with the Vessel Safety Check Manual, COMDTINST M16796.8A. Any further questions or concerns regarding this equipment should be routed appropriately via the chain of leadership and management.



Click here for Current VSC decal


Coast Guard Boating Safety App Released

the nation's recreational boating safety coordinator, the Coast Guard works to minimize loss of life, personal injury, property damage, and environmental harm. Our boating safety program involves public education programs, regulation of boat design and construction, approval of boating safety equipment, and vessel safety checks for compliance with federal and state safety requirements. The Coast Guard Mobile App supports these missions by providing the essential services and information most commonly requested by boaters.

Features of the app include: state boating information; a safety equipment checklist; free boating safety check requests; navigation rules; float plans; and calling features to report pollution or suspicious activity. When location services are enabled, users can receive the latest weather reports from the closest National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather buoys as well as report the location of a hazard on the water.

The app also features an Emergency Assistance button which, with locations services enabled, will call the closest Coast Guard command center.

The Boating Safety Mobile app was not designed to replace a boater's marine VHF radio, which the Coast Guard strongly recommends all boaters have aboard their vessels. The app was mainly designed to provide additional boating safety resources for mobile device users.

The app is self-contained, so personal information is stored on the phone and is not sent to the Coast Guard unless the user chooses to send it. The Coast Guard does not track a user's location, and the app does not track a user's location unless the app is being used. For more information on the app, please visit .

father daughter2 web

Free Courtesy Vessel Safety Check

Click Here To Have Your Boat Checked




Safe, Fun & Responsible Recreational Boating



Minimize the loss of life, personal injury, property damage and environmental impact while maximizing the safe use and enjoyment of U.S. waterways by recreational boaters. The Safety process is one of “prevention through education, outreach and volunteer compliance” helping recreational boaters to gain a respect for the boating environment. The Safety Committee pursues their mission aggressively through the Vessels Safety Check (VSC) program and cooperation with government and industry partners in promoting safety related initiatives.


Life Jacket,

There's no reason not to wear it!




Some Comfortable lightweight Life Jacket options

Inflatable Vests & Waist Packs




Mustang Announces Inflatable Life Jacket Recall!

Click here for Details!


2019 National Safety Committee

 Safety committee 2019



Safety Committee Policy & Operating Guide


The Safety Committee's Mission: Minimize the loss of life, personal injury, property damage and environmental impact while maximizing the safe use and enjoyment of U.S. waterways by recreational boaters. The Safety process is one of “prevention through education, outreach and volunteer compliance” helping recreational boaters to gain a respect for the boating environment. The Safety Committee pursues their mission aggressively through the Vessels Safety Check (VSC) program and cooperation with government and industry partners in promoting safety related initiatives. The committee maintains a web site as well as communicates through USPS and public media. Committee awards recognizing contributions to boating and personal safety and VSC performance are presented at the USPS Annual Meeting.


  1. National Safety Committee. The USPS Safety Program is led by the National Safety Committee, which is composed of a Chairperson, Assistant Chairpersons, First Aid Support Team (F.A.S.T.) Leader, Regional Chairpersons and a number of other members appointed by the Committee.

  2. First Aid Support Team (F.A.S.T.): a team made up of medically trained members who volunteer to assist, support, and refer members or attendees who become injured or ill during meetings of the national organization and/or appropriate local safety personnel.

  3. National Committee Responsibilities are:

    1. Establish policies and procedures for the administration of the USPS Safety & Vessel Safety Check Programs.

    2. Attendance at both national meetings is desirable. If at all possible members should at least attend the annual meeting.

    3. Maintain communications with the National Chairperson, other National Committee members, and District Chairpersons, as needed.

    4. Assist District Chairpersons in preparing and presenting seminars at District conferences.

    5.  Suggest topics for Ensign Articles and assist in the writing.

    6. Turn over any and all records, reports, communications and files to his/her successor.

    7. Promote First Aid and CPR training for the members through non-USPS resources.

    8. Promote formation of FAST programs at the district and squadron levels.

    9. Area Representatives are responsible for communication and coordination through the Committee electronic communications tree (eTree) with the districts and squadrons for Safety related subjects including but not restricted to:

      1. Vessel Safety Check

      2. Safe Boating Week

      3. Interagency Cooperation with USCG Auxiliary, US Coast Guard, etc.

      4. Safety Bulletins

      5. USPS Safety Award candidates

      6. USPS Life Saving Award candidates

  4. District Chairpersons. Responsibilities are:

    1. Coordinate and promote the Vessel Safety Check & Safety Programs within the District. Solicit nominations from Squadron Chairpersons for the Life Saving and National Safety Awards.

    2. Serve as liaison between the National Committee member for the Region (Regional Chairperson) and Squadron Chairpersons.

    3. Promote partnership with the USCG Auxiliary District and/or Division in the VSC Program. Serve as liaison with the Auxiliary District Staff Officer (SO-VE)for Vessel Examiners in the USPS District.

    4. Organize and promote Safety & VSC Program seminars at District conferences.

    5. Prepare articles for the District newsletter and assist Squadron Chairpersons in writing articles for Squadron newsletters.

    6. Use the National Safety website, SailAngle, other websites and e-mail to enhance communications among Squadrons, Districts and the National Committee.

    7. Communicate any areas of concern to the National Committee representative assigned to the District.

    8. Promote and coordinate District participation in USPS National VSC Program contests. Establish and administer a District awards program to recognize outstanding VEs, Squadrons, and program promotion activities.

    9. Turn over all records, reports, communications and files to his/her successor.

  5. Squadron Chairpersons. Responsibilities are:

    1. The Vessel Safety Check Chair is selected based on his/her interest in industrial and marine safety and the Vessel Safety Check program. This person provides or coordinates informative programs throughout the year as appropriate. He/She should work closely with Education, Meetings, Public Relations and the Boating Activities Chairs to promote an integrated program.

    2. Organize and promote Vessel Safety Check Program activities within the Squadron. Work with the Squadron Executive Officer, Safety Officer and members to monitor local squadron activities and media sources for persons eligible for the Life Saving Award and the National Safety Award.
      Prepare nomination(s) and forward to the District VSC Chairperson or Safety Officer for consideration.

    3. Maintain an adequate supply of Decals, Form 7012s, and other VSC-related materials, and distribute them to Squadron Vessel Safety Examiners.

    4. Promote partnership with local USCG Auxiliary Flotillas.

    5. Conduct Vessel Examiner training and administer certification examinations.

    6. Notify National Headquarters using the, VSC-2 form, of all certifications and re-certifications of Squadron VEs.

    7. Obtain additional supplies from National Headquarters.

    8. Collect and review Form 7012s, and conduct additional training of VEs when needed.

    9. Promptly submit the data from the 7012s via the online data submittal form to National Headquarters on a weekly basis if possible (but at least monthly). Online VSC submission may be delegated to the VE as appropriate.

    10. Retain completed 7012 forms for at least one year after the year the VSCs were conducted.

    11. Establish and administer a Squadron awards program to recognize outstanding VEs.

    12. Turn over all records, reports, communications and files to his/her successor.

  6. Vessel Examiners (VE).

    Any USPS member who is at least 18 years old may become a VE by attending a training session, passing a proctored open-book test, and performing five VSCs under the supervision of a certified Vessel Examiner (either USPS or USCGA). The open-book test may also be taken online at . A VE will retain certification by performing a minimum of five VSCs per year. Additional information regarding VE certification and other responsibilities is in the Vessel Safety Check Manual. Other responsibilities are:

    1. Use the Form 7012. Promptly forward a copy of completed Form 7012s to the Squadron VSC Chair for data input. The VE may input the form 7012 into the system themselves and retain the it for one year.

    2. Report any problems with VSC program procedures or operations to the Squadron VSC Chair.

  7. Certification Process.

    Online Exam - When the prospective VE passes the online exam they receive an email confirming they passed. He/she provides a copy of the confirming email to the VSC Chair. Paper Exam - The exam monitor provides a document certifying that the prospective VE has passed the exam. He/she provides a copy of the confirming document to the VSC Chair.

    After the candidate completes their five mentored VSCs (the mentor is responsible for reporting these completions to the Chair) the VSC Chair submits the VSC-2 Certified Vessel Examiners Form to headquarters via email, fax or mail. Headquarters will then add them to the database of certified VEs.

    Note: USPS members who are currently certified Vessel Examiners in the United State Coast Guard Auxiliary are cross qualified for USPS and all that need be done is to send in the VSC-2 Certified Vessel Examiners Form to headquarters to add them to the database so they will be recognized by all the systems.

  8. Vessel Examiner Uniforms.

    1. Red "USPS uniform polo shirt" with the words "Vessel Examiner" and the USPS logo on it.

    2. Tan or khaki colored pants (long or short), boat shoes and VSC cap. Inflatable Life Jackets should be worn as a normal part of the uniform to illustrate the ease of always wearing a life jacket whenever on the water.

    3.  Inflatable Life Jackets were supplied to all squadrons in 2008 to accommodate this uniform adjunct and to be worn while teaching Public Boating Courses.


  1. The VSC Manual. This manual is provided by the US Department of Homeland Security, United States Coast Guard COMDTINST M16796.8A October 2014. This Manual prescribes the policies and standards for the administration of the Vessel Safety Check program. It is intended for use by members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, The United States Power Squadrons, and other authorized organization, who desire to become qualified and serve as Vessel Examiners. It is both a training guide and operational reference source. It is available for downloading from this web site.'

  2. Vessel Examiner Exams. For VE candidates who do not take the exam online, Squadron and District Chairpersons should download and print out the exams and answer keys supplied to them on the program materials CD. National Headquarters will provide these materials in hard copy only to Chairpersons who do not have computers.

  3. Forms and Decals. VSC decals are issued by National Headquarters. As early as practical at the beginning of each calendar year, decals will be sent to Squadron Commanders (to be given to the Squadron VSC Chair upon receipt) in amounts based on the number of VSCs conducted by USPS VEs in their Squadron during the previous calendar year.

    1. Decals are provided by the U.S. Coast Guard and may be limited in number. Distribution will be to:

      • Squadron Commander, based on prior year decals issued to boaters and reported to the National Database. Rational for shipping to Squadron Commanders is their addresses are the most accurate in the data base.

      • After these initial shipments, additional decals may be ordered only by Squadron VSC Chair or Commander with National Chair approval. Supplies of decals may be transferred between VEs, Squadrons, and Districts, as needed.

    2. Forms - the ANSC 7012 forms are available and may be ordered from headquarters for only the cost of shipping. They are also available for download and local printing.

  4. Shirts, hats, patches, etc. may be ordered by VEs, Squadrons, or Districts.

  5. VSC Order form (available on the web site) should be used by VSC Chairs to order supplies.

IV. Awards and Merit Marks.

  1. National Annual Awards

    1. Individual

      • Century Pin Awarded to any VE who does 100 VSCs in the calendar year

      • Millennium Pin awarded to any VE who does a cumulative number of 1000 VSCs

    2. Squadron Annual Honor Roll

      The top 5 Squadrons

      • Who have 10% of their active members (End of march of year) as VEs


      • Perform a number VSCs at least equal to the number of active members at year end.

    3. District Annual Honor Roll

      The top five Districts

      • Who have 10% of their active members as VEs


      • Perform a number VSCs at least equal to the number of active members (End of March of year).

        Each District and Squadron may establish awards to recognize outstanding VEs, Squadrons, and Program promotion activities.

    4. Merit Marks

      VEs may be recommended by their Squadron Commanders for merit marks based on either:

      • Becoming a certified Vessel Examiner i.e. Completing VE training, passing the exam, and performing five VSCs under supervision;


      • If already certified as a VE, by performing ten VSCs that are reported to USPS in the calendar year.


All USPS members who are involved in the VSC Program are encouraged to use the Safety & VSC Committee's websites as a source of program data, and policy and procedure updates and announcements. The main pages are listed on the left menu.


The VSC Program is a USPS activity with a minimum risk of lawsuits based on negligent performance of VSCs. USPS has adequate liability insurance to protect USPS, its Districts, Squadrons, and members from potential litigation related to the VSC Program. Our insurance carrier will provide both a defense and indemnity to the extent of policy limits. Thus, a fear of potential litigation should not deter members from participating in the VSC Program. Contact: National Law Officer, National Treasurer.

Revised 9 October 2017


CPR & First Aid

CPR/First Aid Class to Be Offered at Annual Meeting

>We will offer a CPR/First Aid Class at the upcoming annual meeting in Ponte Vedra, FL. This training provides a two-year certification through the American Heart Association. First-time or recertifying students are welcome. The class schedule is yet to be determined. 

CPR Information Flyer for 2021 (not yet available)

For information or to sign up please contact Jeff McKinney


Course description: click here for pg 1,and click here for pg 2.


CPR and First Aid Facts


USPS Partners, the American Heart Association and the American Red Cross are both ready to set up courses for your squadron.



Recommended AED

Member Pricing





Last Updated 29 October, 2019



Visitation Program

 The Visitation Program utilizes specially trained Power Squadron Members and Auxiliarists known as Program Visitors knowledgeable in many areas related to recreational boating safety, and the Coast Guard. RBSVP trained Visitors work primarily with Businesses (any business enterprise where the public, who may be boaters, would be exposed to the literature) in promoting recreational boating safety. The objectives of the RBSVP program include:

  • Establish or enhance working relations between the business, the Coast Guard, Auxiliary and Power Squadron.

  • Use these businesses as points of contact for making the boating public more aware of state and federal boating safety requirements.

  • Provide information regarding Public Education courses, Vessel Safety Checks, membership, and distribute Coast Guard, Auxiliary and Power Squadron handout materials.

Benefits for the Business from the Visitor Program

There are significant benefits, both tangible and intangible, for participating businesses. These benefits include:

  • Establish a "boating safety" image with the public.

  • Keep Businesses up to date on the latest information and programs of interest.

  • Provide closer contact with the Coast Guard for answers to questions that mayarise.

  • Conduct Dealer employee training.

 For more information on VP contact Stf/C Geno Bottino, AP-IN,