Coast Guard Urges Boating Safety Practices During Fleet Week

SAN FRANCISCO – As the Fleet Week celebrations approach, the Coast Guard is emphasizing the importance of safe boating practices for all those who will view the events from the water.

Prior to leaving the dock, boaters should ensure all safety and navigation equipment onboard the vessel is in proper working condition. One properly fitting Coast Guard approved lifejacket is required for each person onboard the boat, including child-sized lifejackets for youth. All boaters are encouraged to wear their lifejacket while underway and maintain a working VHF-FM radio on board their vessel, regardless of the weather conditions.

Boaters are also reminded to not overload their boat with passengers. Excess passengers onboard a vessel may cause the boat to be unstable in the water, and increase the risk of capsizing.

All mariners should respect safety and security zones in place during Fleet Week, and should heed all Broadcast Notice to Mariners by monitoring channel 16.

“Boaters should be aware that during the weekend, the Bay waters near the San Francisco waterfront will be congested with several thousand recreational, sightseeing, and ferry vessels,” said Captain Paul Gugg, Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Sector San Francisco. “These vessels, combined with Bay winds which typically increase throughout the day, will likely produce rough and confused seas.”

Boaters should check forecasts before leaving the dock, and ensure weather conditions do not exceed the limits of their capabilities.

“Each year, boaters have the spectacular opportunity to view Fleet Week events from the water,” said Lieutenant Commander Kevin Mohr, Chief of the Waterways Management Branch at Coast Guard Sector San Francisco. “We strongly encourage every boater and passenger to follow safe boating practices, and respect the security zones in place during the event for the benefit of everyone involved.”

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