TAMPA, Florida – As boaters take to the water on a long vacation weekend, the Coast Guard works hard to keep everyone safe.
“With everyone trying to celebrate Memorial Day it brings a lot of boaters out on the water and with that comes some unpredictable situations,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Nicholas Jennings of the US Coast Guard.
However, boaters can prepare for these situations. For worst-case scenarios, the Coast Guard recommends having a tracking device that will pinpoint your exact location can help make sure that helpers can find you quickly.
“This is a personal locator beacon. It is something that you can keep in your pocket on the water. If you are in distress, all you have to do is put the antenna up, turn it on. turn it on and activate the GPS with the antenna up, that will send a signal to the Coast Guard so they can send us to pick you up, ”Jennings said.
Master Sailor Jennings also advises new boat captains to take a safety and education course before heading out on the water.
“We definitely recommend a boating safety course. It’s not enough to get on a boat and go, ”Jennings said.
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But even for the most experienced captains, remembering the basics is also important.
“Always wear your life jacket,” Jennings said. “You want to make sure it’s snug, but doesn’t restrict movement. You want it to be zipped up, if it has a zipper and buckled up. It would be nice to have a whistle on it too. are in the water that you can whistle for help. “
The Coast Guard also recommends checking the weather conditions and having appropriate supplies such as flares and a fire extinguisher.
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Boaters can also download the Coast Guard mobile app to have important information close at hand, such as boating safety information, a place to drop a waterline, a way to request a waterline check. ship safety and even call for emergency help.
Having a plan and being prepared could mean the difference between a fun vacation on the water or a weekend that ends in disaster.
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