Coast Guard reminds boaters to practice safe boating as weather improves

ALAMEDA, Calif.- The Coast Guard wants to remind boaters to practice safe boating techniques if they plan to take to the water this season. With weather conditions forecast to be nice during the upcoming weekend, more boaters will likely take to the water.

Here a a few safety tips that all boaters should be aware of:

  • Boaters should have a lifejacket onboard for each person on their boat, sized properly. Boaters are strongly encouraged to always wear their flotation device, and children are required by law to have one at all times.
  • Boating under the influence of alcohol is illegal, the same as it is while operating a car. Not only does alcohol slow your reaction time and increase the chances of an accident, it will also decrease the amount of time it will take for hypothermia to set in.
  • Boaters can call the Coast Guard on VHF channel 16 in an emergency. People are reminded, though, that channel 16 is an emergency frequency similar to 911, and should not be used for any other communications
  • Before taking to the water, always check the weather conditions for the areas in which you will be operating. Mariners are reminded that though conditions may be nice where you launch your boat, the conditions could be hazardous in another area.
  • Take the time before heading out on the water to check all of your safety equipment, and ensure that all of your passengers are familiar with the use of that equipment.

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