Barnstable Officials Stress Water and Sun Safety

CCB MEDIA PHOTO US Coast Guard Auxiliary Commodore Carolyn Belmore instructs an attendee on the use of a personal flotation device.

US Coast Guard Auxiliary Commodore Carolyn Belmore instructs an attendee on the use of a personal flotation device.

BARNSTABLE – Water and sun safety day was held Thursday in Barnstable Village. Barnstable Fire Department officials, along with the Harbor Master, Coast Guard Auxiliary and County Department of Health and Environment were on hand to give safety tips for water sports and skin protection.

“One of the things that we are focusing on this year is non-motorized water crafts like kayaks, stand-up-paddle-boards and things like that,” said Barnstable Fire Chief Frank Pulsifer. “And we are encouraging the use of personal floatation devices.”

Jeff Craddock of Cape Cod Sea Sports gave demonstrations on the use of kayaks and stand-up-paddle-boards.

Craddock said having knowledge about what could go wrong is important before anyone gets out on the water.

“Just a general awareness and a few pieces of equipment that are well worth the piece of mind so that you can go out and enjoy the local waters of the Cape, which are awesome, and be safe doing it,” Craddock said.

Chief Pulsifer is stressing the use of vessel identification stickers, which were given out throughout the day.

“If you have a vessel that has drifted away or if someone is in an emergency, and if they can identify the vessel and the owner of that vessel, it can help us on a search and rescue response along with the Coast Guard and the harbormaster.”

Vessel identification stickers are available at the Barnstable Fire Station.

Coast Guard Auxiliary Commodore Carolyn Belmore was on hand and also stressed the importance of personal floatation devices.

“We are trying to encourage people to wear their life jacket in any boat, at any time,” she said. “You never know when you are going to end up in the water and the water around here is not warm even late in the season.”

Belmore said that anyone that is looking to get out on a boat, kayak or paddle board should always check the weather and tides before hand.

“Ninety percent of the rescues the Coast Guard or anyone else has to go out on are on days that they shouldn’t have been out there in the first place,” she said.

County Public Health Nurse Deirdre Arvidson was giving out material on sun safety and discussing the importance of being protected from the harmful rays.

Arvidson said that the application of sunscreen is a must and that people need to remember to reapply sunscreen every two hours and after coming out of the water.

She also said people on or close to the water need to be extra careful.

“The water is very reflective,” she said. “If you are out on the water you have the sun from the sky and the reflection off the water, it’s a lot of exposure. You need to wear sunscreen and it’s also really important to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.”

Arvidson said that parents also need to be diligent with sunscreen when it comes to their children.

“Sun exposure is cumulative and it starts when you are little,” she said. “They make great sun protective clothing that kids can wear.”

The county nurse added that people need to be aware of their skin types.

“Some skin types are definitely more at risk for skin cancers than others,” she said.

She said redheads, fair-haired and light-eyed people need to use more caution when it comes to being out in the sun.

Chief Pulsifer, who was an organizer of the event said he chose to hold the program this week to coincide with the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
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