Coast Guard encourages boaters to practice safe boating

NEW YORK – Temperatures are rising all around the state making it a perfect time for mariners to take recreational vessels out on the water. However, before doing so, the Coast Guard is urging all mariners to be well prepared before taking off on that voyage.

Preparation is key to a safe and enjoyable time on the water. Mariners need to engage in safe boating practices to ensure a successful trip for themselves as well as everyone else on the water.

“Each year with warmer weather, hundreds of area residents take to the water to enjoy a day of recreational boating,” said Captain Thomas Morkan, deputy commander, Coast Guard Sector New York. “Unfortunately, many will depart unprepared for the emergencies that could happen on a vessel. Boaters should take nothing for granted, remember that conditions can literally change within the blink of an eye and never leave the safety of shore without the proper equipment and planning. Doing so could save your or a family member’s life.”

One way to prepare one’s self before getting underway is to take a boating safety course offered by the Coast Guard Auxiliary, which can develop a mariner’s skill and improve safe boating practices. The Coast Guard Auxiliary also offers free vessel safety checks, which are intended to identify deficiencies prior to getting underway and ensure that vessels meet all federal safety regulations. Items that are required both by state and federal laws include:

  • Life jackets for everyone on board;
  • Registration and numbering;
  • Navigation lights;
  • Venitlation;
  • Fire Extinguishers;
  • Distress signals such as flares, horn, etc;
  • Battery cover and connection.

For more information about Auxiliary boating safety course descriptions, dates, and locations be sure to check out http://www.cgaux.org/boatinged/class_finder/, and to find out more about Vessel Safety Checks make sure to visit http://cgaux.org/vsc/.

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