Section .0300 ‑ Local Water Safety Regulations

Link to law: 15a - environmental quality/chapter 10 - wildlife resources and water safety/subchapter f/15a ncac 10f .0301.html
Published: 2015

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(a)  Applicability.  Except as limited by the subject

matter, all of the provisions of this Rule apply to all public waters located

within the territorial limits of the counties and municipalities in which

special regulations are set forth for specific waters or regulated areas by the

succeeding rules.

(b)  Definitions.  Unless the context requires otherwise,

the definitions used in G.S.75A apply within these regulations.  In addition,

the following definitions apply in these regulations:

(1)           Commission.  North Carolina Wildlife

Resources Commission;

(2)           Executive Director.  Executive Director of

the Commission;

(3)           No‑Wake Speed.  Idle speed or a slow

speed creating no appreciable wake;

(4)           Uniform System.  Uniform Waterway Marking

System and the supplementary standards for such system promulgated by the


(c)  Marking of Regulated Areas.  The Executive Director may

designate agencies for placement and maintenance of markers for regulated areas

established by rules promulgated pursuant to this Section.  The agency

designated by the Executive Director may delegate the actual placement and

maintenance of such markers to some other agency, corporation, group or individual,

so long as the designating agency exercises supervisory authority over such

agency, corporation, group or individual.  Prior to marking a restricted zone

established pursuant to G.S. 75A‑15, the designated agency for placement

and maintenance of the markers must obtain written approval from the Executive

Director by making a written request for permission to mark the area

specifically described therein.  Enforcement of the restrictions set forth in

Rule .0302 et seq. of this Section is dependent upon placement and maintenance

of adequate marking of the regulated areas by suitable agencies, as designated

in those rules, in accordance with the requirements of the Uniform Waterway

Marking System, which are hereby incorporated by reference, and automatically

include any later amendments of the incorporated matter as authorized by G.S.

150B‑21.6 and the supplementary standards for such system promulgated by

the Commission in Paragraph (g) of this Rule.  Unless a specific variance is

granted, placement and maintenance of the markers must be and remain in

accordance with the uniform system.  The Executive Director or his

representative is instructed to supervise and approve placement and maintenance

of individual markers to insure full implementation of the objectives of the

uniform system.

(d)  Implementation of Uniform Waterway Marking System. 

Except where done by virtue of the supervening federal authority, it is

unlawful for anyone to place, maintain, or to allow to remain in place, any

regulatory markers or navigational aids of the sort included in the uniform

system in any waters without authorization of the Commission.  The Executive

Director is authorized to approve placement of the navigational aids,

informational markers, and regulatory markers warning of dangers and not

requiring enforcement sanctions, in accordance with both public interest in

recreational use and water safety and in accordance with the policies embodied

in the uniform system.

(e)  Removal of Unauthorized Markers.  Markers or navigational

aids which do not conform to the specifications of the uniform system or which

are placed without lawful authority or permission, where the person responsible

for the actual placement cannot be feasibly determined, may be removed by

agents of the Commission.  Nonconforming markers as to which the person

responsible for placement and maintenance is known, may nevertheless be removed

by agents of the Commission if such markers are likely to mislead the public or

cause a dangerous situation. Where agents of the Commission discover authorized

markers which have been improperly placed or are defective through lack of

maintenance, such agents may serve written notice upon the person responsible

for such improper placement or for the maintenance of the marker concerned. 

If, within 10 days no action has been taken in accordance with the notice

given, such default constitutes a violation of these regulations.

(f)  Miscellaneous Restrictions.  Except for mooring buoys

or markers as to which it is specifically permitted, it is unlawful to tie a

vessel to any waterway marker.  It is unlawful for any unauthorized person to

move, remove, damage, obstruct, paint over, or in any way tamper with any

marker lawfully placed in the waters of North Carolina in conformity with these

regulations or the uniform system generally.

(g)  Supplementary Standards.  The standards listed in this

Paragraph are supplementary to the Uniform Waterway Marking System and shall be

applicable in the succeeding rules of this Section to the areas of water

thereby regulated:

(1)           The perimeter of swimming areas in the

water must be marked with float lines which, in conjunction with the shoreline,

form a completely enclosed area.  The total enclosed area may not exceed 5,000

square feet.  Such area may not extend out into the water sufficiently as to

restrict travel unduly on any regular navigational channel or otherwise to

obstruct passage of vessels in reasonably using the waters.

(2)           Float lines must have attached floats along

their length at intervals of not less than one every 10 feet.

(3)           Floats must be buoyant enough to float at

the surface of the water while attached to the float line, but no float may

exceed a size of 18 inches as measured across its largest dimension.

(4)           Floats may be solid or hollow and

preferably should be of plastic or other light and resilient material not

likely to cause injury should one strike a swimmer in the water.

(5)           Floats must be either solid white or solid

international orange in color.  Float lines may consist of all white floats or

of alternating white and orange floats.

(6)           Buoys or floating signs indicating the

"boats‑keep‑out" symbol of the uniform system and in

conformity with its standards must be attached to the float lines at such

points as necessary to give warning to the vessels approaching the swimming

area from various directions.

(7)           Float lines and warning markers must be

anchored securely to prevent them from shifting position to any appreciable

extent under normal conditions.

(8)           All markers warning of a no‑wake

speed zone around certain facilities must be buoys or floating signs placed in

the water at a distance of not greater than 50 yards from the protected

facility.  The markers must be sufficient in number and size as to give

adequate warning of the restriction to the vessels approaching from various


(9)           The boundaries of mooring areas may be

defined by the placement of the speed zone warning markers themselves or by

such warning markers plus additional boundary floats or markers that may be

approved by the Executive Director or his representative.


History Note:        Authority G.S. 75A‑3; 75A‑15;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. November 1, 1993; March 25, 1978;

Temporary Amendment Eff. July 1, 1998;

Amended Eff. April 1, 1999.