Coast Guard urges safety for Canalside 4th of July Celebration fireworks display

Children watch a fireworks display at the Independence Day celebration July 4, 2014, Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. There were approximately 400 Airmen and family members in attendance at the event which was coordinated by the 39th Force Support Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Nicole SikorskiChildren watch a fireworks display at an Independence Day celebration. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Nicole Sikorski/Released)Released)BUFFALO, N.Y. — U.S. Coast Guard Sector Buffalo and state and local agencies are advising the boating public of safety concerns and safety tips during the Canalside 4th of July Celebration fireworks display taking place on the Buffalo River starting at 9:45 p.m., Wednesday, in Buffalo, New York.

Specific concerns for the event are heavy boating congestion in the area.

Fireworks displays may pose significant and unusual hazards to spectators on the water, including a large number of viewers, increased boat traffic, improper life jacket wear, alcohol consumption, and challenging weather conditions such as wind, thunderstorms and heat.

Those choosing to watch the fireworks from the water are strongly encouraged to take the following precautions:

  • Stay outside of the safety zone buoy markers located on each of the four corners of the firework safety zone.
  • If you have children on your boat, they are required to wear a properly fitting U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket at all times. Regardless of age or ability to swim, adults are strongly encouraged to also wear an appropriately sized U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
  • File a float plan with someone on land who can report your intentions to the U.S. Coast Guard in the event you do not check in with them after the event. Electronic float plans can be filed quickly and easily using the U.S. Coast Guard smartphone app, available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play.
  • Ensure your vessel’s gear is in good, working order by inspecting the anchor, lines, cleats, and other equipment prior to the event.
  • Ensure your vessel’s lighting configuration complies with the U.S. Inland Navigation Rules.
  • Bring waterproof bags for personal items and identification.
  • Refrain from consuming alcohol prior to or during the event.
  • Obey law enforcement officers and event staff instructions.

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