BALTIMORE — The Coast Guard, along with several local agencies, is scheduled to kick off National Safe Boating Week Saturday at Hope Springs Marina, from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Members from the Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, US Power Squadron, Stafford County police, Stafford County Fire and Rescue, and Virginia Marine Police are scheduled to participate in the event.
A boat crew from Coast Guard Station Washington is scheduled to speak with the public on boating safety and safe boating practices at Hope Springs Marina from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.
The Coast Guard Auxiliary and US Power Squadron are scheduled to conduct vessel safety inspections and provide boating safety tips at the following locations from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.:
- Hope Springs Marina
- Aquia Harbor Marina
- Aquia Bay Marina
- Holiday Harbor
- Willow Landing
- Aquia Boat Storage
- Fairview Beech
May 16 to May 22 is recognized as National Safe Boating Week, and Coast Guard crews throughout the nation 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.