Posts Tagged ‘appropriate safety equipment’
First, attract as much attention as possible as fast as you can. I never go on a boat without a life jacket, knife, flashlight and whistle. The life jacket is first and foremost. The light and the whistle are to attract attention.
From the Operation Dry Water website: http://www.operationdrywater.org/
New Field Sobriety Tests in time for Operation Dry Water 2011
The weekend before the 4th of July, the regular Coast Guard, state and local law enforcement begin concentrating on enforcing drunk boating laws. Boating Under the Influence in Maryland is a zero-tolerance behavior. When there is alcohol on the boat an unimpaired operator MUST be at the helm.
With the 2011 Operation Dry Water comes a battery of tests that, after a three-year study, the Southern California Research Institute has validated for marine use. The new battery of testing standards will for the first time, allow marine patrol officers to tests boaters in a seated position and apply a percentage of probability that the subject is impaired at .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or higher.
5th District Public Affairs
U.S. Coast Guard
Date: May 19, 2011
Contact: Public Affairs Det. Baltimore
BALTIMORE – The Coast Guard in the Maryland area is scheduled to participate in National Safe Boating Week, May 21 to 27.
National Safe Boating Week marks the informal beginning of summer and Coast Guard crews throughout the Upper Chesapeake Bay region will be on patrol, paying particular attention to recreational boating safety.
“Life jackets can save your life. So wear them!” said Master Chief Petty Officer James Hines, the officer-in-charge of Coast Guard Station Curtis Bay, Md. “Make sure they have reflective material sewn in to them so that if you do go overboard, especially when it gets dark out, it will be easier for rescuers to locate you. Your chances of survival are greatly increased just by putting a properly fitted and functional one on.”
Nationwide, more than 700 people die every year in boating and paddling accidents. Approximately two-thirds drown and more than 90 percent of these were not wearing a life jacket.
The most recent data for Maryland waters shows 174 boating accidents occurred in 2009 resulting in a total of 17 fatalities.
Most boating fatalities occur on boats where the operator had not completed a boating safety education course. Courses cover many aspects of boating safety from boat handling to reading the weather.
The Coast Guard urges boaters to obtain a free, no-fault vessel safety check, which can be conducted by the Coast Guard Auxiliary, before heading out on the water. The safety checks are courtesy examinations of your vessel, verifying the presence and condition of certain safety equipment required by state and federal regulations.
The Coast Guard also urges boaters to boat sober. Boating under the influence or boating while intoxicated is just as deadly as drinking and driving. It is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs in every state. Penalties for violating BUI and BWI laws can include large fines, suspension or revocation of boat operator privileges, and jail time.
Other dangers include bow riding, which occurs when passengers unsafely remain on the bow of a recreational vessel while it is making way. This is inherently unsafe when the bow is not outfitted with the appropriate safety equipment for seating passengers, such as a non-skid deck surface, railings or seats. Even while wearing a life jacket, a person who falls off of the bow can be at risk of a propeller strike.
Here are some other tips to help boaters have a safe and pleasant summer on the water:
• Make sure a friend or relative knows your float plan. A float plan states where you are going and how many people are aboard your vessel. It also gives a vessel description, details your destination and what time you expect to arrive there. If you are delayed for some reason, make sure you let someone know.
• Make certain to check the local weather prior to departing the dock. Weather can change very rapidly, and you should keep a watchful eye on the forecasted conditions.
• Have nautical charts of the area you are boating in, a global positioning device and a reliable means of communication on board your vessel. VHF-radio is the best method of communication while on the water. Although cell phones are a good backup, they can be unreliable due to gaps in coverage area and the inevitable dead battery.
• Wear your life jacket. In an emergency there might not be enough time to put one on, so wearing one at all times may save your life.
Media wanting more information are requested to contact Public Affairs Detachment Baltimore, at 410-576-2541.
For further boating safety information, check online at one of the following:
U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary: http://www.cgaux.org/
Vessel Safety Checks: http://www.vesselsafetycheck.org/
Coast Guard Boating Safety page: http://www.uscgboating.org/
U.S. Power Squadrons: http://www.usps.org/
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