Spring is here, Coast Guard urges safe boating

1st Coast Guard District News
BOSTON — In light of spring temperatures, the Coast Guard emphasizes safety for recreational boaters and paddlers planning to venture out on the inland and coastal waters of the Northeast this spring.

The rescues of two kayakers on Sunday by Coast Guard crews and additional first responders serve as reminders that boating season in the Northeast is just around the corner and all boaters should practice maritime safety measures while out on the water.

At approximately 2:45 p.m. Sunday, Coast Guard Sector Boston received a report of a capsized orange kayak with one person in the water in the vicinity of Bumpkin Island, Mass. Coast Guard Station Point Allerton, Mass. launched a 47-Motor Life Boat crew along with Hingham, Mass., and Hull, Mass., Harbormasters. Station Point Allerton rescued the kayaker and transferred him to local EMS. The kayaker was wearing a lifejacket.

Also on Sunday, watch standers at Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound, in New Haven, Conn., received a report of a capsized kayak with one person in the water at Short Beach in Nissequogue River near Smithtown, N.Y. Crews from Coast Guard Station Eaton’s Neck, in Northport, N.Y., the local park service, fire department, and Suffolk County Police Department responded. The fire department’s boat rescued the kayaker and transferred him to the local hospital for examination.

“The warmer weather can create a false sense of security,” said Walt Taylor, Recreational Boating Safety Manager for the 1st Coast Guard District. “Though the air is warm, the water is still very cold, and in the event of a capsize hypothermia can quickly set in.”

Some safe boating tips to remember are:

  • Dress for the water temperature. Though the air may be warm, the water is still cold. Wet suits and dry suits offer protection against hyperthermia in the event of a capsize or immersion in the water.
  • Check all required safety equipment to be sure it is in good working order. The Coast Guard Auxiliary provides free vessel safety exams. Contact your nearest flotilla for more information.
  • File a float plan before getting underway.
  • Be sure to have U.S. Coast Guard approved lifejackets aboard. All boaters and paddlers are encouraged to wear their lifejackets while underway.

More information can be found at the Coast Guard Boating Safety Resource Center.

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