Coast Guard Partners with Local State Agencies to Urge Boating Safety

The Coast Guard and partner agencies are focusing efforts to educate paddlers on how to “have fun, be safe, and paddle smart.” (U.S. Coast Guard illustration)NEW YORK – Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound is partnering with law enforcement agencies from Connecticut and New York State to combat recreational boating fatalities this summer.

On May 20, 2017, a new safe boating campaign was started to help to target at risk segments of the boating population.

This new operation is entitled Operation Wild Water. Coast Guard teams comprised of active duty, reserve, and auxiliary members are conducting a statewide outreach campaign aimed at educating boaters. These teams will stop by local marinas to speak with boaters, hand out safety pamphlets, perform on-the-spot checks, and answer questions. Teams will also be deployed with boating safety displays at major marine events in the area throughout the summer.

This summer-long operation will aim to combat the recent spike in paddlecraft related fatalities. In 2016, the Northeast saw 28 paddler deaths, more than double the national average according to preliminary data. The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and New York Department of Environmental Conservation are working with the Coast Guard to get the word out to as many boaters and paddlers as possible.

“Paddlecrafts are the most vulnerable water asset and people usually underestimate risks associated with kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, and other small watercraft activities,” said Capt. Andrew Tucci, commander Sector Long Island Sound. “Lifejackets, radios, and float plans are necessary to ensure that a day on the water ends well. Our duty is not only to respond to events when they happen, but also to prevent them from happening in the first place.”

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