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Boaters reminded to slow down for emergency vessels

As boating season gets in full swing, 1st Sgt. Joshua Thomas of the Virginia Conservation Police, area supervisor for the Middle Peninsula, Northern Neck and Peninsula, said he wishes to remind residents about the rules of navigation designed to ensure safe boating.

Boaters, he said, must slow down for emergency vessels. With a law very similar to the “move over” for emergency lights code, Virginia now has a law protecting first responders on the water. Effective Jan. 1, 2023, every motorboat, when approaching or passing within 200 feet of any law-enforcement vessel or emergency services vessel that is displaying flashing blue or red lights, shall slow to no-wake speed so that the effect of the wake does not disturb the activities of law-enforcement personnel or emergency services personnel.

“Please remember to slow down for them as they focus on keeping our waterways safe,” he said. For more information, see Virginia Administrative code 4VAC15-390-85.

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