Santa Clara County Advises Safe Boating Practices

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SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CA – With the official opening of the summer boating season scheduled for Memorial Day Weekend, the Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department would like to remind boaters to practice safe boating on County Reservoirs. Equipping recreational vessels with proper safety equipment, being mindful of state boating laws, avoiding alcohol, and checking weather conditions can decrease the chances of a boating accident.  Below are some tips that will help boaters have a safe boating experience:

Life Jackets are a Must: There must be a properly fitted life jacket on your vessel for each person. Children under the age of 13, all personal watercraft riders, paddle-boarders, and anyone being towed behind a boat are required by law to wear a lifejacket.

Emergency Equipment:  In the event of an emergency, boaters should have the following equipment in order to expedite a rescue:

  • Flares and an emergency position indicating radio beacon with 406 MHz capabilities.
  • A GPS unit, or at a minimum, boaters should maintain knowledge of local waters and know their location at all times.
  • An operational marine VHF radio. VHF channel 16 is an emergency only channel.

Boating Laws:  In order to ensure a safe and enjoyable boating experience, it is important for all boaters to know and follow California’s boating laws. These laws may be found in the ABCs of California Boating booklet.

Weather Conditions:  Boaters should check current and forecasted weather conditions prior to getting underway, and remain aware of changing conditions once on the water.

  • The National Weather Service broadcasts weather conditions throughout the day on VHF channel WX2.
  • The Coast Guard broadcasts weather conditions on VHF channel 22A at 9:30 a.m., noon, and 4:30 p.m.

Vessel Safety Inspection:  A safety inspection can ensure vessels are properly equipped with the recommended and required equipment. To book a complimentary appointment with a Coast Guard Auxiliary examiner, boaters can visit:

The Santa Clara County Department of Parks and Recreation encourages you to enjoy a safe boating season.  For additional safe boating information please visit  For information on Santa Clara County Parks boating facilities, please visit

The Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department has provided recreational opportunities, beautiful parks and precious natural resources for Santa Clara County residents for more than 50 years. This golden legacy has resulted in one of the largest regional park systems in the State of California.