Boating Safety in Maryland

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

Bow Riding is Illegal

Ride Inside Boating Safety Poster


  • A typical three-blade propeller running at 3,200 rpm can inflict up to 160 cuts in one second.
  • A typical propeller can travel from head to toe in less than one tenth of a second.
  • Most propeller strikes are preventable.


  1. NEVER allow passengers to ride on the bow, gunwale, transom, seat backs, or other spots 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