NASBLA Roundtable

Engine Cutoff Lanyards

  • 1.  Engine Cutoff Lanyards

    Posted 02-19-2021 09:39 AM
    So...

    We have a new federal engine cutoff lanyard requirement coming to a waterway near you very soon! What will your state/local agency do? Will you:
    • Try to change your state code to match?
    • Adopt by reference in your regulations?
    • Do nothing?
    Can anyone even enforce the regulation if it's not in your state/local code?

    We are getting TONS of calls here at BoatU.S. asking what's going on!

    ------------------------------
    Chris Edmonston
    President
    BoatU.S. Foundation for Boating Safety & Clean Water
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Engine Cutoff Lanyards

    Posted 02-20-2021 10:19 AM
    The State of Texas has added it to the Water Safety Act so it can be
    enforced.




  • 3.  RE: Engine Cutoff Lanyards

    CRBP Commissioner
    Posted 02-21-2021 11:22 PM
    Kansas has a lanyard law for PWC, but does not pertain to other motorboats.  Since our waters are sole state waters, we will not enforce the federal mandate unless it becomes a requirement of the states to adopt such law.  We have three navigable waterways where it could be enforced, but would go the route of educating person first.
    It would be a law or regulation that may be sought after in the future, but now is not the right time due to the legislative environment towards our agency.

    ------------------------------
    Dan Hesket
    Major
    KS Dept of Wildlife & Parks
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Engine Cutoff Lanyards

    Posted 02-22-2021 09:38 AM
    The State of Illinois has had a lanyard law in effect since 2010.  I have attached the legislative language here.
     (625 ILCS 45/4-11) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 314-11)
        Sec. 4-11. Engine cut-off switch.
        (a) As used in this Section:
        "Engine cut-off switch link" means the lanyard or wireless cut-off device used to attach the motorboat operator to the engine cut-off switch installed on the motorboat.
        "Engine cut-off switch" means an operational emergency cut-off engine stop switch installed on a motorboat that attaches to a motorboat operator by an engine cut-off switch link.
        (b) No person may operate any motor boat, including personal watercraft or specialty prop-craft, equipped with an engine cut-off switch while the engine is running and the motorboat is underway without verifying that the engine cut-off switch is operational and fully-functional and:
            (1) the engine cut-off switch link is properly
        
    attached to his or her person, clothing or worn PFD, as appropriate for the specific vessel; or
            (2) activating the wireless cut-off system.


    ------------------------------
    Curt Lewis
    Lieutenant
    Illinois Conservation Police
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Engine Cutoff Lanyards

    Posted 02-21-2021 11:07 AM
    We're discussing it in Oregon but given that we've adopted some other controversial regulations in the past months we don't plan to tackle this any time soon. We will educate for sure. I'm not completely sure we have legislative authority to require this anyway. My guess is it would be rolled into some legislation in 2023 and could go into play in 2024. We will look strongly at caveats such as not being required when operating in whitewater and such.

    ------------------------------
    Randy Henry
    Boating Safety Program Manager
    OR State Marine Board
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Engine Cutoff Lanyards

    Posted 02-21-2021 12:26 PM
    The state of WA currently makes it a violation to operate a PWC without a lanyard. An amendment to the law will be required to have this apply to all vessels equipped with lanyards.

    ------------------------------
    Rodney ROCHON
    Instructor
    Snohomish County Sheriffs Office (retired)
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: Engine Cutoff Lanyards

    Posted 02-21-2021 09:27 AM
    Pardon my ignorance but this is for boats correct.  

    Make it a great day!  

    Glenn Dean
    State Certified Instructor
    Connecticut Boating Certificates LLC
    Cell 203-788-3438  Office 800-832-7191




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  • 8.  RE: Engine Cutoff Lanyards

    Posted 02-21-2021 09:49 AM
    Yes! in April, there will be a federal requirement that if you have a boat with an installed engine cutoff lanyard, you have to wear it under certain conditions. My question is this--as this is a federal law, what are states planning on doing in response? Only a few states have laws requiring cutoff lanyard use right now.

    ------------------------------
    Chris Edmonston
    President
    BoatU.S. Foundation for Boating Safety & Clean Water
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Engine Cutoff Lanyards

    Posted 02-21-2021 09:58 AM
    Thanks Chris.

    I know we have the law for the PWC's but not the boats.  That being said, during my class I "highly recommend" using the Cutoff Lanyard for boats for the same reasons regarding life jackets.  If you fall down at the helm for reasons such as heart attack, stroke, heat exhaustion, seizures, sun stroke etc... you want the boat to shut off and not continue in a dangerous circular pattern.  

    Make it a great day!  

    Glenn Dean
    State Certified Instructor
    Connecticut Boating Certificates LLC
    Cell 203-788-3438  Office 800-832-7191




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    LEGAL NOTICE: This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error please notify the sender immediately by replying to this message and permanently deleting it from your computer. Thank You for your cooperation with this disclaimer and we apologize for misaddressing this email.

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  • 10.  RE: Engine Cutoff Lanyards

    Posted 02-22-2021 03:27 PM
    Good afternoon.

    I was reading thru the Act and found where "covered vessels" manufactured after December 2019 will be required to have an ABYC A-33 compliant engine cutoff switch installed, I did not find where a boat operator would be required to use the device.  Could you possibly provide more guidance please.

    Thank you.

    Cpl. Ivan Perez
    State Marine Specialist
    Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources, Law Division
    DNR LED Recreational Safety, Education, and Enforcement Section



    ------------------------------
    Ivan Perez
    Michigan Department of Natural Resources
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  • 11.  RE: Engine Cutoff Lanyards

    Posted 02-23-2021 12:26 PM
    Please disregard NY previous question as I have located the requirement in question. Thank you.

    ------------------------------
    Ivan Perez
    Michigan Department of Natural Resources
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: Engine Cutoff Lanyards

    Posted 02-22-2021 09:05 AM
    Greetings,

    We have been aware of the passage of the ECOS section within the National Defense Bill for a couple of weeks.  It applies to recreational boats in federal waters only.

    We're in the process of sending out a survey to our members on the very questions you're asking.  My gut reaction is that states will be cautious in adopting -- we hope it will stimulate state agencies who haven't adopted a mandatory wear policy for employees to do so ...?

    Chris I'll be happy to share all survey results with you in the coming weeks.

    V/R

    John

    ------------------------------
    John Fetterman
    Deputy Executive Director
    NASBLA
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: Engine Cutoff Lanyards

    Reporting Project
    Workgroup
    Posted 02-23-2021 03:15 PM
    Boating Safety Colleagues,

    I wanted to give you a quick update on what the Office of Auxiliary & Boating Safety is doing to promote awareness of the engine cut-off switch issues. As most are aware, an ECOS installation requirement went into effect in Dec 2019, and an ECOS use requirement goes into effect on 1 Apr 2021. These requirements can be found in 46 USC 4312.

    We are currently finalizing an issue paper and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document that will be used to draft a USCG press release and other materials to promote awareness of the impending ECOS wear requirement. This is a federal requirement, so state and local marine police cannot enforce it. However, since there is now a federal requirement, state and local laws are most likely preempted. We believe there are 7 states that have ECOS laws applicable in some manner to "traditional" motorboats. We also believe that there are at least 44 states that have PWC-specific ECOS laws. Our intention is to pursue exemptions from preemption for all state laws that meet the spirit of the federal laws, which should be the overwhelming majority of states with ECOS laws.

    We hope to have more information out soon. If you have any immediate questions, please contact me at jeffrey.a.ludwig@uscg.mil. Thanks!

    Jeff

    ------------------------------
    Jeff Ludwig
    Chief, Recreational Boating Product Assurance Branch
    US Coast Guard
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: Engine Cutoff Lanyards

    Posted 02-24-2021 06:26 PM
    I see nothing in the code that is directed to a "use requirement".  There seems to be only a requirement that switches be installed by manufacturers on certain vessels.  Am I missing something?  46 USC 4312

    ------------------------------
    Greg Galloway
    National Park Service
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  • 15.  RE: Engine Cutoff Lanyards

    Reporting Project
    Workgroup
    Posted 02-25-2021 09:22 AM
    The "use" requirement was just passed on January 1, 2021 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2021. It will become part of 46 USC 4312, it just hasn't been codified yet since the law recently passed.



    ------------------------------
    Jeff Ludwig
    Chief, Recreational Boating Product Assurance Branch
    US Coast Guard
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: Engine Cutoff Lanyards

    Posted 03-16-2021 08:57 AM



    U.S. Coast Guard Announces New Law Requiring Use of Engine Cut-off Switches


    WASHINGTON - Operators of recreational vessels less than 26 feet in length will be required to use an engine cut-off switch (ECOS) and associated ECOS link (ECOSL) as of April 1, 2021, as the U.S. Coast Guard implements a law passed by Congress.

    The ECOS and ECOSL prevent runaway vessels and the threats they pose. The ECOSL attaches the vessel operator to a switch that shuts off the engine if the operator is displaced from the helm. The ECOSL is usually a lanyard-style cord that attaches to an ECOS either in close proximity to the helm or on the outboard motor itself if the vessel is operated by a tiller. When enough tension is applied, the ECOSL disengages from the ECOS and the motor is automatically shut down. Wireless ECOS have recently been developed and are also approved for use. These devices use an electronic "fob" that is carried by the operator and senses when it is submerged in water, activating the ECOS and turning the engine off. Wireless devices are available on the aftermarket and are beginning to become available as manufacturer-installed options.

    Each year the Coast Guard receives reports of recreational vessel operators who fall or are suddenly and unexpectedly thrown out of their boat. These events have led to injuries and deaths. During these incidents the boat continues to operate with no one in control of the vessel, leaving the operator stranded in the water as the boat continues on course, or the boat begins to circle the person in the water eventually striking them, often with the propeller. These dangerous runaway vessel situations put the ejected operator, other users of the waterway, and marine law enforcement officers and other first responders in serious danger.

    Section 503 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018 required manufacturers of covered recreational boats (less than 26 feet in length, with an engine capable of 115 lbs. of static thrust) to equip the vessel with an ECOS installed as of December 2019. Owners of recreational vessels produced after December 2019 are required to maintain the ECOS on their vessel in a serviceable condition. It is recommended that recreational vessel owners regularly check their existing ECOS system to ensure it works, following manufacturer's instructions.

    Section 8316 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2021 requires individuals operating covered recreational vessels (less than 26 feet in length, with an engine capable of 115 lbs. of static thrust; 3 HP or more) to use ECOS "links." Using the ECOSL is required only when the primary helm is not within an enclosed cabin, and when the boat is operating on plane or above displacement speed. Common situations where ECOSL use would not be required include docking/trailering, trolling and operating in no-wake zones.

    The Coast Guard believes that the overwhelming majority of recreational vessels produced for decades have had an ECOS installed, so this new use requirement simply obligates recreational vessel operators to use critical safety equipment already present on their boat.

    Seven states currently have ECOS use laws for traditional recreational vessels, and 44 states have ECOS use laws for personal watercraft (PWC).

    Boaters are encouraged to check the U.S. Coast Guard website for additional information on this new use requirement and other safety regulations and recommendations: https://uscgboating.org/recreational-boaters/engine-cut-off-switch-faq.php

     



    ------------------------------
    Mark Jensen
    Self
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  • 17.  RE: Engine Cutoff Lanyards

    Posted 03-17-2021 08:57 AM
    Is this going to be nationwide as of April 1st?

    ------------------------------
    Glenn Dean
    Connecticut Boating Certificates LLC
    ------------------------------



  • 18.  RE: Engine Cutoff Lanyards

    Posted 03-17-2021 09:56 AM

    I suspect this only applies to Federal Waters (USCG enforced).  Each State would need to generate legislation that could then be enforced by the State DNR and/or the local Police.   I believe that this will cause confusion and a lot of "warning" tickets that may or may not be legitimate.   Think about a fisherperson operating a bow mounted trolling "motor" with over 115# of thrust.  Okay, the language used is "engine" not motor....  Is that an internal combustion engine only, meaning a 2 stoke or 4 stroke?  What about the new electric powered vessels?    No ECOS required in "no wake" zones, what about 5 mph zones? 

     

    I know that I'm splitting hairs, but are we really prepared to implement this.  This could actually cause more accidents, while a vessel is operating at displacement speed and a captain changes seats with a first mate or simply stands up.  The engine(s) shut(s) down and the vessel slows so quickly that persons get injured falling forward. 

     

    I only hope that State regulators thoroughly think this through before developing laws. 

     

    Mark Jensen

     

     

     

     

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