It is Fall and for many of us we really appreciate the off-season boating. This season typically means that boaters encounter fewer boats and that the water and weather is subject to frequent changing conditions. Kirk Scarborough of the Coast Guard Auxiliary reminds boaters, “don’t be a boating casualty on the water. Follow these simple rules to have a safe and enjoyable day.”
- Check the weather before heading out on the water
- Monitor the weather continuously with a Marine Radio
- It is recommended that every one wear an approved PFD, but at a minimum, PFD’s should be readily available.
- Know about the boat you are on; especially true for those renting or borrowing a boat.
- More than one person (the skipper) should know the location of all Safety Gear, including the VHF Radio.
- Do not rely on cell phones as a primary means of communication. Contacting someone on a cell phone precludes aid from a local Good Samaritan.
- The best way to get help is through a Marine Radio.
- File a Float Plan with someone who knows where you are going and when you are expected to return. USCG Auxiliary Float Plan in a printable PDF form that you can save to your computer.
- Receive a free Vessel Safety Check from the USCG Auxiliary.
- Take a safe boating class in the state you are in.
The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is a uniformed volunteer component of the United States Coast Guard created by an Act of Congress in 1939. The Auxiliary, America’s Volunteer Guardians, supports the Coast Guard in nearly all of the service’s missions.