Pennsylvania Code & Bulletin

• No statutes or acts will be found at this website.

The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 54 Pa.B. 2336 (April 27, 2024).

58 Pa. Code § 97.5. Visual distress signals.

§ 97.5. Visual distress signals.

 (a)  This section applies only to those boats operating on Lake Erie.

 (b)  A person may not use a boat 16 feet or more in length or a boat carrying six or less passengers for hire unless visual distress signals selected from the list in Appendix C or the alternatives in the number required, are onboard. Devices suitable for day use and devices suitable for night use, or devices suitable for both day and night use, shall be carried.

 (c)  Between sunset and sunrise, a person may not use a boat less than 16 feet in length unless visual distress signals suitable for night use, selected from the list in Appendix C or alternatives in the number required are onboard.

 (d)  When a visual distress signal carried to meet the requirements of subsection (b) or (c) requires a launcher to activate, a United States Coast Guard approved launcher shall also be carried.

 (e)  The persons listed in this subsection need not comply with subsection (b) or (c). Each shall carry onboard the required number of visual distress signals suitable for night use, selected from the list in Appendix C.

   (1)  A person competing in an organized marine parade, regatta, race or similar event.

   (2)  A person using a manually propelled boat.

   (3)  A person using a sailboat of completely open construction, not equipped with propulsion machinery, under 26 feet in length.

 (f)  It is unlawful to operate a boat unless the visual distress signals required by subsection (b) or (c) are readily accessible.

 (g)  It is unlawful to operate a boat unless each signal required under subsection (b) or (c) is in serviceable condition and the service life of the signal, if indicated by a date marked on the signal, has not expired. As used in this subsection, the term ‘‘serviceable’’ means that the device is fully functional to carry out the purpose for which it was designed and is free of damage and defects.

 (h)  It is unlawful to do the following:

   (1)  Operate a boat unless the signal required by subsection (b) or (c) is legibly marked with the United States Coast Guard approval number or certification statement as specified in the Federal regulations.

   (2)  Display a visual distress signal on water to which this section applies under any circumstances except a situation in which assistance is needed because of immediate or potential danger to the persons onboard.


   The provisions of this §  97.5 amended under the Fish and Boat Code, 30 Pa.C.S. §  5123(a)(5).


   The provisions of this §  97.5 amended February 4, 1983, effective January 1, 1983, 13 Pa.B. 619; amended June 3, 1994, effective June 4, 1994, 24 Pa.B. 2795; corrected December 5, 2003, effective September 24, 1994, 33 Pa.B. 5925; amended December 30, 2011, effective December 31, 2011, 41 Pa.B. 6968. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (301482) to (301483).

No part of the information on this site may be reproduced for profit or sold for profit.

This material has been drawn directly from the official Pennsylvania Code full text database. Due to the limitations of HTML or differences in display capabilities of different browsers, this version may differ slightly from the official printed version.