Back to Top

Marine Safety

Helming ship

While search and rescue is one of the Coast Guard's most well-known missions, crews do much more than save mariners in peril.

Promoting safe boating practices is a key objective to help prevent an incident at sea. The Coast Guard investigates maritime accidents,  merchant vessels, offshore drilling units, and marine facilities. Additionally, the Coast Guard is responsible for licensing mariners, documenting U.S. flagged vessels, and implementing a variety of safety programs.

Despite our best efforts, mariners sometimes find themselves in harm's way. When they do, the Coast Guard has a proud tradition of immediate response to save lives and property in peril. To be part of our search and rescue team, it takes more than physical ability. You'll also need that special desire and bravery with which heroes are born.

As a leading U.S. representative to the International Maritime Organization, a part of the United Nations, the Coast Guard is the driving force behind shipping safety, pollution prevention, and mariner training and certification standards.

A Coast Guardsman swims toward a mock victim in the water.

Commercial vessels are not the only boats on the water - more than 76 million recreational boaters share this space as well. Our 35,000-person civilian volunteer branch called the Coast Guard Auxiliary plays a central role in recreational boating safety providing recreational boat inspections and teaching life jacket safety across the country.

Coast Guard activities in support of maritime safety are inseparable from those we perform to protect the marine environment and economic waterways. The integration of stewardship, safety and security has saved many lives and helped secure our national security.