GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Starting Thursday, a new federal law goes into effect for motorized boats that are less than 26 feet in length and have an Engine Cut-Off Switch (ECOS).
According to a release, the new law is scheduled to start on April 1 and will require the operator of the motorized boat to use the ECOS link.
Boating officials say the link is usually a coiled bungee cord lanyard clipped onto the operator’s body, Personal Floatation Device (PFD) or clothing, and the other end attached to the cut-off switch. There are plenty of variations on the market, including electronic wireless devices too.
The shutdown of the engine is essential for safety reasons. Boat officials say when an operator is wearing a link while driving, the engine will cut-off if the driver is separated from the area, an occurrence that can happen if the driver falls or is ejected from the boat. If the operator is ejected, the shutdown may prevent the driver from impacting the boat’s spinning propeller and may help in safely returning to the drifting boat.