Previous Page  23 / 135 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 23 / 135 Next Page
Page Background

California Boating 

A Course for Safe Boating


Chapter 2


Boating Law, Navigational Rules and Navigational Aids


Every peace officer of the state, city, county or harbor district is empowered

to enforce general boating laws, navigation regulations, and local restrictions.

Peace officers have the authority to stop and board any vessel where the peace

officer has probable cause to believe that a violation of state law or regulations

or local ordinance exists. The use of a distinctive blue light is reserved for law

enforcement vessels.

Any vessel approaching, overtaking, being approached, or being overtaken by

a moving law enforcement vessel operating with a siren or an illuminated blue

light, shall immediately slow, alter its course, and proceed at a reduced speed

until beyond the area of operation of the law enforcement vessel. Every vessel

underway and lawfully ordered to stop by a peace officer or harbor policeman

shall stop immediately and permit the peace officer or harbor police vessel to

come alongside.

Peace officers can order the operator of an unsafe vessel to shore. A vessel can

be ordered to the nearest safe moorage if an unsafe condition is found that

cannot be corrected on the spot and the officer believes continued operation of

the vessel could be hazardous.

Court-Ordered Boating Education



Any person convicted of any moving violation in the Harbors and

Navigation Code, the Federal Navigation Rules and regulations adopted by

the Department of Boating and Waterways (DBW) while operating a vessel,

must be ordered by the court to

complete and pass

a boating safety course

approved by DBW.



Proof of completion and passage of the course must be submitted to the

court within seven months of the time of the conviction.

False Search and Rescue Calls

Anyone who reports to a state or local agency that an emergency exists

knowing that the report is false is guilty of a misdemeanor and may be

punished by imprisonment in a county jail for up to one year, a fine up

to $1,000, or by both imprisonment and fine. An emergency includes any

condition that results in, or could result in, the response of a public official in

an authorized emergency vehicle, vessel or aircraft.

It is a


anyone to falsely report to any state or government agency that

an emergency exists when the reporter knows, or should know, that the

response to the report is likely to cause death or great bodily injury to some-

one as a result of the false report.


Under the law, no person shall

operate a vessel, or manipulate water

skis, an aquaplane, or similar device

in a reckless or negligent manner,

endangering life, limb or property.


Making a false emergency report is

against the law and it can keep law

enforcement officers from responding

to real emergencies.