(WTNH) — Every year there are many fatalities across the US due to improper usage of a boat. Before you head out on a kayak or a 100 foot yacht, here are some tips to make sure you and your family stay safe this summer.
First off, before you even step foot on a boat, know the laws! Rule number one, life jackets!
Scott Corner, Waterfront Comissioner of Stratford said, “The law is that everybody on a boat has to be assigned a life jacket. If you’re 12 years of age and under, the life jacket has to be worn anytime the boat’s underway.”
Also if you are going on a jet ski, you’re always required to wear a life jacket regardless of age. Now before you step foot on a boat, keep in mind the importance of preparing and it all starts with the weather.
“The weather is a big factor in boating because when you’re out in the middle of the sound, there’s no place to go.” mentioned Scott.
And living somewhere like New England, our weather really can chance in an instant. With that being said, according to Lt. Jeremy Smith of the Stratford Fire Department, the biggest issue boaters face is a lack of knowledge of the boat they’re on.
Typically that’s where the coast guard or local fire rescue comes in, helping hundreds of boaters out yearly.
Finally have a good time, but keep in mind you can be arrested if you control the boat drunk.
Captain Frank Eannotti, Stratford Police Department stated, “Whether you’re on a boat or in a motor vehicle, the laws are the same and any effects you might have while you’re boating if you’re caught operating a boat under the influence also effects your drivers licence and your boating certificate.”
Unlike on a motor vehicle, police and coast guard don’t need probable cause to board your boat and inspect it, so make sure you’re following the laws, and that you’re prepared with the gear necessary for any emergencies on board!