Coast Guard urges boaters to use float plans

300 Boat ResponsiblyNEW ORLEANS — The Coast Guard urges all boaters to file a float plan with family or friends during National Safe Boating Week and the boating season.

A float plan, similar to a life jacket, is a life-saving device on paper, which can make a difference in rescue and response time in the event of an emergency.

Before boaters embark, they should leave detailed information about their trip with a family member or friend who is staying ashore. Include all information that would help rescuers in case of emergency, such as how many people are aboard, where you are leaving from and returning to, your intended route, how long you will be out and a description of your boat. However, do not file float plans with the Coast Guard.

A float plan is equally effective for the owner of a kayak or flat-bottom skiff as it is for a large cruiser, a 90-foot sport-fishing vessel or luxury yacht.

Typically, the owner or master of the vessel is the individual who prepares the float plan; however, any member of the crew can be assigned the preparation and filing duty.

To obtain a float plan form, click here for a downloadable form.

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