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RALEIGH, N.C. (June 28) – State law requires boaters to use proper navigational lights from sunset to sunrise and prohibits operating personal watercraft after sunset. Officers with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission quickly offer additional advice for boating after dusk.

“Boaters at night must slow down,” said Wildlife Enforcement Officer Chris Holmes, while readying for a nighttime patrol. “Why? Because you are dealing with limited visibility. Darkness hides debris and obstructions, landmarks and navigational points can disappear from view. Boating in limited visibility situations requires an alert operator and lots of precaution.”

Boating at night increases during summer months, especially around July 4th when many recreational boaters go out to view fireworks over water.

“Skiing is prohibited between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise,” Officer Holmes added.

Day or night, boat operators should know:
Blue Light = No Wake Boaters within 100 feet of a law enforcement vessel displaying flashing blue lights must slow to a no-wake speed. In narrow channels, it’s 50 feet.
Children Must Wear a PFD State law requires children under 13 wear a personal flotation device (lifejacket) on recreational boats that are under way.
Stay Safe, Stay Sober In North Carolina, a .08 blood alcohol concentration is the legal limit of intoxication while operating a boat.

For more information on boating safety and regulations, visit, or call (919) 707-0031.
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