Coast Guard to host an open house and boating safety event at Station Annapolis

5th Coast Guard District News
BALTIMORE — The Coast Guard is scheduled to hold an open house focused on safe boating Saturday at Station Annapolis.

The event will be open to the public and feature Coast Guard members including a helicopter crew, members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, Coast Guard recruiters and local first responder emergency crews and vehicles.

A search and rescue demonstration will be performed by a crew aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City, N.J., which is scheduled to arrive around noon and begin an hour demonstration at 1 p.m.

The Coast Guard will be providing information and lessons on boating safety to include the following:

•     Life jackets – which are approved and how to properly choose and wear them
•     VHF-FM radios – built-in and hand held, and how they are more reliable than cell phones
•     Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons – with discussion on their accuracy and reliability
•     Float plans – how letting family or friends know a mariner’s position and expected return time can help rescuers narrow a search in the event of an emergency
•     Vessel Identification Stickers for personal watercraft – how they help property lost during storms be returned to its owner and how it helps the Coast Guard know who might be missing

May 18 to May 24 is National Safe Boating Week and Coast Guard crews throughout the area will be on patrol paying particular attention to recreational boating safety.  In the days leading up to Memorial Day, the Coast Guard urges all mariners to examine their safety gear and ensure they have required safety equipment and that it 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 one’s life.  Accidents on the water happen quickly and not wearing 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 can prepare 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.

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