Boating Safety

The mission of the Natural Resources Police, Boating Safety Education Program is to provide the boaters of Maryland the necessary information to operate a vessel safely on our waterways and also to make their experiences as enjoyable as possible. Safety always plays an important role in maximizing the enjoyment of outdoor activities. With a program that focuses on this aspect, we hope to provide boaters from across the State the materials and education to do just that.

The Boating Safety Education Law requires that any person born on, or after July 1, 1972, must have in their possession a certificate of boating safety education while operating a numbered or documented vessel on Maryland waters. Click here to learn how to obtain a valid Boating Safety Certificate.


Picture of kids riding on the bow of a boat without lifejackets. Picture has a red don't do this mark over the photo.


  • A typical three-blade propeller running at 3,200 rpm can inflict up to 160 impacts in one second.
  • A typical recreational propeller can travel from head to toe on an average person in less than one tenth of a second.
  • Most propeller strikes CAN be prevented!!!


  1. NEVER permit passengers to ride on the bow, gunwale, transom, seat backs, or other locations where they might fall overboard.
  2. Wear your engine cut-off switch lanyard and your life jacket at ALL times. If the lanyard is removed from the switch, the engine will not shut off.
  3. Assign a passenger to keep watch around the propeller area of your boat when people are in the water.
  4. Consider purchasing propeller safety devices for your boat.

For more information: Understand the Dangers of Propeller Strikes

Online Services


Chesapeake Bay Hotline

Call 1-877-224-7229
to report any of the following

  • Boating accident or reckless activity
  • Fish kill or algal bloom
  • Floating debris that poses a hazard to navigation
  • Illegal fishing activity
  • Public sewer leak or overflow
  • Oil or hazardous material spill
  • Critical area or wetlands violation
  • Suspicious or unusual activity