BALTIMORE — The Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary and Maryland Natural Resource Police are scheduled to kick off National Safe Boating Week at the West Ocean City Boat Ramp Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
A 47-foot Motor Lifeboat from Coast Guard Station Ocean City will be available for public tours.
The Coast Guard Auxiliary is scheduled to perform vessel safety inspections and provide safe boating tips at the ramp every Saturday and Sunday throughout the 2015 recreational boating season.
May 16 to May 22 is recognized as National Safe Boating Week, and Coast Guard crews throughout the area will be on patrol, paying particular attention to recreational boating safety. The Coast Guard urges all mariners to examine their safety gear, ensure they have required safety equipment and ensure their gear is working properly.
Below are tips to help boaters prepare for a summer on the water:
- Wear a life jacket. In an emergency, there might not be enough time to put one on, so wearing one at all times may save a life. Accidents on the water happen quickly, and reaching for a life jacket is like trying to put on a seat belt during a car accident.
- Check local weather before departing the dock. Weather can change rapidly, and being aware of forecasted conditions prepares boaters for the unexpected.
- Have nautical charts of the area and a reliable means of communication, such as a VHF-FM marine radio. Cell phones are a good backup but can be unreliable due to gaps in coverage and dead batteries.
- The Coast Guard urges boaters to obtain a free, no-fault vessel safety check, which can be conducted by the Coast Guard Auxiliary before heading out on the water. The safety checks are courtesy examinations of your vessel, verifying the presence and condition of certain safety equipment required by state and federal regulations.