Ninth District External Affairs
U.S. Coast Guard
Date: May 25, 2011
Contact: Ninth Coast Guard District Public Affairs Office
CLEVELAND — The U.S. Coast Guard reminds all recreational boaters to take advantage of several practices and initiatives that, when applied, will greatly decrease your chances of death or injury when boating on America’s waterways.
In 2009, 86 percent of boating fatalities in the United States occurred on boats where the operator had not received formal boating safety training, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. The goal of the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Safe Boating Week campaign is to reduce boating fatalities and accidents across the nation.
Additionally, the Coast Guard recommends boaters leave float plans with friends or family members before getting underway. A properly-filled-out float plan can provide the Coast Guard with valuable information if a boater gets in trouble and is unable to contact emergency responders. The float plan should include who to contact if the boater is overdue.
“A float plan gives responders vital information such as your intended course and destination, a description of your vessel, and type of safety and survival equipment you have with you,” said Capt. Stephen Torpey, chief of the incident management branch for the Ninth Coast Guard District. “The additional information provided in a float plan helps us direct our search efforts and improves the chances of survival in an emergency.”
Finally, mariners are urged to check the weather forecast before getting underway. Weather on the Great Lakes can change quickly and unexpectedly. The National Weather Service marine forecast is available here.
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