spacer
Fishing & boating montage
spacer
County Guide - click for index
spacer
Regional Reports - click for index
spacer
Biologist Reports/Fisheries Management - click for index
 
PA Boating Handbook
CHAPTER 2 - LEGAL REQUIREMENTS
Homeland Security
Strict regulations have been issued relating to waterways for national security. Boaters must follow these regulations or be exposed to serious penalties. Our mutual security, in part, depends on your diligence in reporting suspicious activities that you may encounter on the water.

Illustration of required distance around U.S. Naval vesselsRequirements for all watercraft:

  • Stay at least 100 yards from all military, cruise-line or commercial shipping vessels. Violating the Naval Vessel Protection Zone is a felony offense, punishable by up to six years imprisonment and/or up to $250,000 in fines.
  • You must operate at slow, no-wake speed within 500 yards of U.S. Naval vessels.
  • Check with local authorities and refer to current charts to identify and stay away from security zones and port operation areas.
  • Generally, stay at least 100 yards from military areas, cruise lines and petroleum facilities. Also, stay away from dams and power plants.

At the request of the Captain of the Port, or District Commander, an area may also be designated a Security Zone. This zone may be highlighted in magenta (pink-red coloration) on charts to better stand out and warn the public to stay clear. Unauthorized vessels, without specific permission to enter, must stay out of these marked areas. Armed military, harbor police or civilian authorities, securing these areas, will confront violators.

Guidelines:

  • Do not stop or anchor beneath bridges or in channel. If you do stop, be prepared to be boarded by patrolling authorities.
  • Be observant and report any suspicious activity to U.S. Coast Guard or local authorities.
  • Always secure and lock your boat when not on board.
spacer
Previous Boating Handbook Table of Contents Next
Bottom navigation bar
Copyright Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
click for Commonwealth of PA website click for list of PA state agencies click for PA online services Get your fishing license Register/title a boat Web Policies Site Map Contact Us PFBC Home Page