Cold temperatures cause unseen damage to boats

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Coast Guard is reminding boaters to thoroughly inspect their vessels before getting underway as cold weather continues along the First Coast.

Florida’s recent cold temperatures may result in unforeseen boat damage, leaving recreational boaters disabled, or worse, in distress.

Frozen hoses, damaged wires and strainers blocked with ice are a few examples of why it is important to perform a safety inspection before getting underway on your vessel. Although frozen hoses and wires may have thawed, cracks and water damage to an electrical system could prove harmful to your vessel’s engine or bilge systems.

It is not uncommon for cold-weather damage to have a delayed effect on your vessel’s engine, resulting in problems arising when you may be far from shore.

In addition, warmer daytime temperate are misleading. Inland and near-shore water temperatures are approximately 45-50 degrees and night-time air temperatures may still drop below freezing.

If you plan on taking your vessel out for the day, plan on bringing warm clothing, extra blankets and a lifejacket for all people onboard. During an emergency, being stranded in cold weather can quickly lead to a dangerous situation.

For information about vessel inspections and boating safety visit http://www.uscgboating.org/default.aspx

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