NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — This holiday weekend should be a good one for Connecticut’s boaters, but as always boaters, tubers and anyone else out on the water will take to keep in mind simple but important boating safety tips.
The U.S. Coast Guard says this safety gear should be on boats:
- Life jackets for everyone aboard
- A noise making device such as a horn
- Visual distress signals such as flares or a signal mirror
- A fire extinguisher.
The following are Coast Guard safety tips for boaters prior to leaving the dock:
Never boat under the influence. Alcohol is the leading contributing factor of all fatal boating accidents. It is against the law for anyone to operate a vessel on the water under the influence of alcohol. Consumption of alcohol by anyone else aboard is strongly discouraged.
Always wear a life jacket. A life jacket is required for each person aboard a vessel, sized accordingly and easily accessible.
Carry a VHF-FM marine radio. Boaters should have an operational marine VHF radio on their boat in order to contact the Coast Guard in the event of an emergency. In the event of an emergency the Coast Guard can be reached on VHF-FM 16.
Have a Vessel Safety Check. The Coast Guard Auxiliary offers free vessel safety checks and can be reached at cgaux.org. A vessel safety check is the best possible way to learn about potential violations of state and federal requirements. Most importantly, these quick exams can keep your boat and passengers out of harm’s way.
Boaters should be aware of, and obey, all federal and state regulations for recreational boating and navigation.