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50th Anniversary of the Federal Boat Safety Act of 1971

This year marks the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Federal Boat Safety Act. On August 10th, 1971, President Richard Nixon signed the Federal Boat Safety Act (FBSA). The act mandated a cooperative Federal-State effort to improve the safety of recreational boating in the United States. It also established the National Recreational Boating Safety Program and gave the U.S. Coast Guard the authority to establish mandatory boat manufacturing and safety standards.

The Federal Boat Safety Act led to a significant reduction in recreational boating accidents and fatalities after its passing. From 1972 to 1975, the recreational boating fatality rate was 12 percent lower than the rate in 1971. Today, recreational boating accidents are at historic lows.

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