Operators of recreational vessels less than 26 feet long will be required to use an engine cut-off switch and associated ECOS link as of April 1, as the U.S. Coast Guard implements a law passed by Congress.

The ECOS and ECOSL prevent runaway vessels and the threats they pose. Each year the Coast Guard receives reports of recreational vessel operators who fall or are suddenly and unexpectedly thrown out of their boat. These events have led to injuries and deaths.

The Coast Guard believes that the majority of recreational vessels produced for decades have had an ECOS installed; the new use requirement simply obligates recreational vessel operators to use critical safety equipment already present on their boat.

Visit uscgboating.org/recreational-boaters/engine-cut-off-devices.php for details about the new requirement.