21-22-CWS | May 27, 2021
BILOXI, Miss. – As many people enjoy Mississippi’s marine waters and river systems this upcoming Memorial Day weekend, the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR) would like to caution everyone to be prepared for their time on the water and think of safety first.
While boating in Mississippi, all vessels must be equipped with a U.S. Coast Guard-approved PFD for each person on board. Each PFD must be in good condition, the proper size for the intended wearer and be readily accessible. Children 12 years old and younger must wear the appropriate PFD whenever underway in a vessel less than 26 feet in length.
Additional requirements for vessels include a fire extinguisher, sound device and visual distress signal. These requirements, in addition to the rules for personal watercraft and towing requirements, can be found at dmr.ms.gov/ms-boating-rules-and-regulations-overview.
In addition to having the proper safety equipment on board your vessel, it is important to avoid boating while under the influence. According to the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, “Alcohol use is the primary contributing factor in boater fatalities and can easily be avoided by choosing not to boat and drink.”
Boaters can find many resources for boating in Mississippi by visiting dmr.ms.gov/boating-in-mississippi. Resources include how to register for boat and water safety classes, a boat equipment checklist and how to file a float plan.
For boating emergencies, please dial 911 or call the Office of Marine Patrol dispatch at (844) 937-6367.
The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources is dedicated to enhancing, protecting and conserving marine interests of the state by managing all marine life, public trust wetlands, adjacent uplands and waterfront areas to provide for the optimal commercial, recreational, educational and economic uses of these resources consistent with environmental concerns and social changes. Visit the DMR online at dmr.ms.gov.