Coast Guard advises cold water boating safety

Coast Guard Station New York crew members jump into the water to test the durability of their immersion suits, Oct. 7, 2015. The crew conducts regular leak testing on the dry suits to ensure they are in good working order for colder months out on the water. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ali Flockerzi.)

Coast Guard Station New York crew members jump into the water to test the durability of their immersion suits, Oct. 7, 2015.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ali Flockerzi.)

NEW YORK — The Coast Guard reminds fishermen, boaters and paddlers to take extra precaution on and around the water as the air and water temperatures grow colder during the autumn months.

Although summer officially ended two weeks ago, the area is already experiencing colder weather, which means anyone planning to be out on the water should wear a life jacket and cold weather clothing to protect them from the cold.

“We encourage anyone who intends to be out on the water when the temperature drops to make sure they have all the appropriate safety equipment, that it is in good condition and to ensure they know how to use it properly,” said Lt. Cmdr. Garrett Meyer, commanding officer of Coast Guard Station New York. “It won’t stay sunny, calm and warm forever. The time to prepare for upcoming harsh conditions is now.”

Prior to leaving the dock, you should ask yourself the following questions to make sure you’re prepared:

  • Do I have all required safety equipment aboard my watercraft and have I ensured it is in good working order?
  • Do I have enough U.S. Coast Guard approved lifejackets aboard? All boaters and paddlers are encouraged to wear their lifejacket while underway. Some state laws require lifejackets be worn.
  • Did I file a float plan?
  • Do I know the dangers of hypothermia and how to recognize and respond to someone who may be suffering from it?
  • Did I check the marine weather forecast for warnings or advisories?

“Enjoy yourself out there but please be prepared,” said Meyer. “Maritime incidents can happen quickly and without warning.”

For weather information, visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website at: http://ift.tt/1Gyge6t.

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