Law enforcement partners unite to promote safety at Buccaneer Days event

SAN PEDRO, Calif. – Coast Guard crews and partner law enforcement agencies will be on patrol this weekend, ensuring safety and security of vessel operators and members of the public participating in the annual Catalina Island Buccaneer Days event.

As members of the public prepare for the voyage to Catalina Island this weekend, the Coast Guard strongly encourages attention to safety concerns:

  • Weather conditions during this time of year can change quickly. The Coast Guard urges boaters to check conditions prior to casting off and continuously during the course of a voyage. The National Weather Service broadcasts marine weather forecasts regularly; forecasts can be heard by tuning in to channels 1 through 7 on a marine-band VHF radio or by checking the NWS website:
  • It is essential to have a working knowledge of a vessel, including the location and operation of all safety gear, especially the marine-band VHF radio. This familiarity is critical for individuals who may be renting or borrowing a boat to transit out to this weekend’s festivities.
  • Cell phones should not be relied on for communication. Coverage can be unreliable and could provide rescuers with a false location. If you are in distress, the Coast Guard can be reached on marine-band VHF radio channel 16: the distress channel.
  • It is recommended that everyone always wear a life jacket when on the water. At a minimum, have a properly fitting life jacket for every person on board and ensure that they are quickly accessible. Often, when trouble happens, it happens fast. If you find yourself in the water or your boat capsizes, try to stay with the boat as it makes it much easier for rescuers to find you.
  • The dangers associated with boating under the influence are significant and can have deadly repercussions. The motion of a vessel, including vibration and engine noise, when coupled with sun, wind, and spray, can make the effects of alcohol or drugs more severe.
  • Even in our warm climate, exposure can pose a problem for boaters stuck at sea for prolonged periods. Be sure to wear appropriate, wicking layers of clothing. Boaters are also urged to carry extra food, water, and visual aids such as flares, signal mirrors, flash lights, or strobe lights. These items will help the Coast Guard see you should your boat become disabled.
  • File a float plan with a family member or friend who is not boating with you. This lifesaving device on paper can assist the Coast Guard with a search if you are in distress. An example of a float plan can be found at

Coast Guard law enforcement crews will be patrolling, conducting safety checks, and watching for individuals boating while intoxicated or operating in an unsafe manner.

Proper preparation and vigilant observation of safety concerns while underway will contribute to a safe weekend on the water.

Additional information regarding safe boating practices can be found at the Coast Guard’s Office of Boating Safety website:

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