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New federal law on boat engine cut-off switch goes into effect Thursday

Only boats less than 26 feet in length are affected by this new law.
Credit: AP
Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans travel by boat along the Hillsborough River Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. The city is hosting Sunday's Super Bowl 55 football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Boaters trying to head out on the water this weekend should be aware of a new federal law that went into effect Thursday. 

The new law requires operators of the boat to use the engine cut-off switch link. Officials say the link is a coiled bungee cord that has one end clipped onto the boat's operator while the other end is attached to the cut-off switch.   

Officials say the law is essential for safety reasons. If the person driving a boat is ejected, the cut cut-off link could prevent the driver from being struck by the boat's spinning propeller. 

Only boats less than 26 feet in length are affected by this new law.

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