Boat Safe: Obey Maryland laws and follow safety guidelines while in Ocean Pines waterways 

Boats dock at the Ocean Pines Swim and Racquet Club.

Speed limits across all Ocean Pines canals is 6 knots per hour.

Boaters in Ocean Pines canals are encouraged to obey speed limits and follow all Maryland boating laws. 

All canals within Ocean Pines always have a 6-knot speed limit, according to Sgt. Andrew Wilson, a supervisor with the Maryland Natural Resources Police. 

“Speeding causes increased wake, which can cause additional erosion or damage to unprotected and under-protected shorelines,” Wilson said. “Our officers are responsible for patrolling all of Maryland’s waterways and enforcing all boating, conservation and criminal laws on those waterways.” 

Wilson said Ocean Pines residents may see Natural Resources Police in the area as part of normal patrol operations, or in reference to a complaint.  

All boaters are encouraged to follow Maryland boating laws: 

  • Boaters born on or after July 1, 1972 must carry a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators-approved certificate of boating safety education when operating a motorized boat on Maryland waters. For more information, visit www.dnr.maryland.gov/boating or call 410-643-8502.
  • Bow riding, or sitting on the edge of a moving boat, is illegal. A fall from the bow could put someone in the path of the boat’s propeller, causing serious injury or death.
  • Life jackets must be the proper size for the intended wearer, in good serviceable condition and readily accessible. All recreational boats must carry one wearable life jacket (type I, II, III or V) for each person aboard.
  • Any boat 16 feet or longer – except canoes and kayaks – must also carry one throwable type IV life jacket. 
  • Children under 13 must wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket while on a recreational vessel under 21 feet in length on Maryland waters. It must be the proper size and in good, serviceable condition.
  • Children under 4 must wear a life jacket with additional safety precautions as appropriate for an infant, toddler or young child, including an inflatable headrest, web handle and crotch strap.
  • Don’t drink and boat! A boat operator whose blood or breath analysis shows an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or greater is considered to be under the influence of alcohol and subject to criminal prosecution. Alcohol has a more dramatic effect on the body while boating.
  • Operators of personal watercraft in Maryland must be at least 16 and possess a valid certificate of boating safety education. A personal watercraft must be operated at 6 knots or less when within 100 feet of a vessel, another personal watercraft, shore, wharf, pier, piling, bridge structure, abutment or people in the water.

For more information about boating laws and regulations, visit www.dnr.maryland.gov.

For general information, call 410-260-8880. For information about boating regulations and education, call 410-643-8502.

In case of an emergency, call the Natural Resources Police. To report an emergency, violation or abandoned boat, call 410-260-8888. To report a missing, damaged or misplaced buoy, call 410-643-6521.

Additional information can be found in the iPhone or Android app stores.

“Maryland Department of Natural Resources also has an app for cell phones and tablets that has information on boating speed zones, fishing and crabbing regulations, and hunting seasons that some may find to be beneficial,” Wilson said.

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