Date: Feb 14, 2011
Contact: 5th District Public Affairs
ATLANTIC BEACH, N.C. — The Coast Guard stresses safety and preparation as boaters take to the water for the forecasted warm weather.
The Coast Guard is anticipating increased boating traffic with the improved weather this week.
The Coast Guard recommends boaters file a float plan with family, friends, or marina operators. Include who is on the boat, where they are going and when they intend to return in the float plan, this will significantly increase the Coast Guard’s ability to locate them in a timely manner in the event of an emergency.
“Regardless of the outside temperature, the water temperature is still well below 60 degrees, and will contribute to hypothermia and cold-related emergencies,” said Cmdr. James Mitchell, Response Department Head for Coast Guard Sector North Carolina. “Be sure to boat safe and boat smart, always wear a life jacket, and let a loved-one or friend know where you intend to boat.”
Boaters are reminded to carefully inspect their vessel and safety equipment before leaving the dock, especially if they have not used the boat recently. Boaters should also carefully review the weather forecast prior to any voyage.
Four principals of recreational boating safety are:
-Life jackets save lives – Wear a life jacket.
-Knowledgeable boaters save lives – Take a boating course.
-Safe boats save lives – Get a free vessel safety check.
-Sober boaters save lives – Never boat under the influence.
The groups of boaters most at risk for a boating fatality are:
-Operators of open outboard motor boats 21-foot and smaller.
-Males 20 – 50 years old.
- All anglers.