Boating Safety

Deputy Bill Maher in the form of a headshot on a waterway, with a sunset in the background

Deputy Bill Maher / CCSO Marine Unit

Clay County has more than 11,000 registered vessels. That’s a lot of traffic on our waterways!

The Marine Unit includes one full-time deputy and one part-time deputy who cover the 35 square miles of waterways that are favorite destinations for boaters from around the region.

These deputies work diligently with neighboring agencies including Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), United States Coast Guard (USCG), U. S. Homeland Security and the Green Cove Springs Police Department. The sheriff’s office also maintains a great working relationship with the USCG Auxiliary Flotilla 14-8.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office works with the USCG Auxiliary to conduct free, monthly boating safety classes. The classes are held monthly at:

USCG Auxiliary Headquarters
1 Bunker Ave.
Green Cove Springs, FL 32043

Interested in taking a boating safety course? Whether you are a new boater or wish to refresh your knowledge, this is a great class for you. Upon successful completion of the class you will receive a Florida Boating Safety Education card which is good for life.    

If you were born on or after January 1, 1988, you are required by law to have the Florida Boating Safety Education card in order to operate a boat alone.

In conjunction with the class, you can arrange to have your vessel receive a complimentary Vessel Safety Check through the US Coast Guard Auxiliary and upon passing, receive a 2020 Vessel Safety Check sticker.

Seating is limited and reservations are required. For more information, email Please add class inquiry/sign-up in the subject line. 

2020 Safe Boating Class Schedule:Boating safety with the scouts

February 15, 2020

March 21, 2020

April 11, 2020

May 2, 2020

June 13, 2020

July 11, 2020

August 15, 2020

September 19, 2020

October 17, 2020

November 21, 2020

Classes start at 9:00 a.m. and run through 3:00 p.m.

Clay County Boat Ramps
U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary

Boating Safety TipsClay County Sheriff's Office conducts boating safety check

  • Make a float plan before going out to let someone know where you’ll be and what time you’ll return.
  • Take a cell phone or a VHF radio with you so you can call for assistance.
  • Check local weather reports prior to leaving the ramp.
  • Inspect your safety gear and replace any damaged or non-serviceable equipment.
  • Make sure you have a properly fitting personal flotation device for every person on board.
  • Discuss emergency plans with passengers.
  • Consider getting towing insurance.

For more information on boating safety or marine complaints, contact Deputy Bill Maher at (904) 591-4621.

Helpful Links