Boating Safety

There is nothing like a day out on a boat at one of Cherokee Nation’s many beautiful lakes.


Certain lakes are popular in the summertime, and reacquainting yourself with ways to stay safe out on the water is not only considerate to others—it saves lives.


Navigating in Cherokee Nation Waterways

When out on a high-traffic lake, you often will encounter other vessels. No vessel has right-of-way over another, and both operators must take action to avoid a collision. When giving way, you generally ought to move starboard (to the right). Preventing collisions is a matter of following the three basic rules of navigation:

• Practice good seamanship.

• Keep a sharp lookout.

• Maintain a safe speed and distance.


When you encounter a vessel with limited maneuverability, like sailboats, commercial fishing vessels or large ships in channels, you must give way.


Preventing Theft

Defend your vessel and equipment from thieves.

• Chain and lock the motor and fuel tanks to the vessel.

• Mark or engrave all equipment with an identifier such as your driver’s license number.

• Photograph or videotape the interior and exterior of your vessel, showing all installed equipment and additional gear and equipment. Make a complete inventory of your equipment, vessel and trailer.

• Remove expensive electronics or other valuables if the vessel is left unattended.

• Title and register your vessel. If you are a Cherokee Nation citizen and live in within Cherokee Nation’s 14-county jurisdiction, register here.  


When it comes to safety, you cannot be too prepared. Here are more boating safety tips to help make your next trip on the water an enjoyable one.