The U.S. Coast Guard will require operators of recreational vessels less than 26 feet in length to use an engine cut-off switch (ECOS) and associated ECOS link (ECOSL), effective April 1, 2021. The new requirement, reported on the National Marine Manufacturers Association website, is mandated by Section 8316 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2021, and is intended to improve safety for millions of Americans who take to the water each year.
The ECOSL attaches the vessel operator to a switch that in turn shuts off the engine in the event the vessel operator is displaced. The ECOSL is typically a lanyard-style cord that attaches to an ECOS in close relation to the helm, or on the motor itself. When strong tension is applied, the ECOSL is disengaged from the ECOS resulting in the automatic shutdown of the motor.