Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Coast Guard is reminding mariners of a new law requiring recreational boats to use an engine cut-off switch and the associated engine cut-off switch link.
An engine cut-off switch is an emergency ignition cut-off device that shuts down the engine if the operator is ejected from the vessel or falls overboard.
The law went into effect at the beginning of last month and requires operators of recreational vessels with an installed engine cut-off switch to use a link, typically in the form of a lanyard clipped onto a vessel operator.
Engine cut-off switches are a tool used to prevent accidents, injuries, and deaths caused by a recreational vessel operator being unexpectedly displaced from the helm.
The Coast Guard said these new requirements will improve safety for recreational boaters by reducing the potential for propeller injuries from runaway boats whose operator was displaced from the helm and not using an engine cut off switch link.