Coast Guard and State Authorities Issues Tips on Safe Boating

iStock_CapeCodSailboat_6.22.16v2HYANNIS – As summer recreational boating increases, the Coast Guard and state authorities are ramping up boating safety education efforts to reduce preventable accidents on the water.

“As we head into the Fourth of July weekend – traditionally a very heavy recreational boating period – it’s imperative that boaters remember to balance fun with responsibility,” said Coast Guard Capt. Michael Baroody, commander Sector Northern New England.

This year, there have been 18 fatalities in New England waters.

Of those, 14 victims were not wearing life jackets.

Authorities urge boaters to follow these best practices to ensure a fun day on the water and safe return to land:

  • Always wear a life jacket when on the water, and ensure those with you were a life jacket.
  • Boat Sober. Preferably, no one aboard should consume alcohol while underway. However, if consuming alcohol, drink responsibly while boating and use a designated (non-drinking) experienced boat operator.
  • Dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature.
  • Check for the latest marine weather forecast, including the water temperature, prior to departure and regularly obtain weather updates throughout your trip.
  • Have multiple means of communication, especially a VHF radio and cell phones.
  • Ensure all safety equipment works prior to departure.
  • File a float plan to include details about your trip.
  • Ensure that your deployable flotation device (such as a life ring) remains accessible at all times.
  • Know your vessel’s weight and passenger capacity and never exceed it.
  • Know and follow the navigational rules of the road.
  • Don’t panic if you fall into the water. Stay afloat with the help of your life jacket and regain control of your breathing.  Stay with your vessel if at all possible.
  • Prepare your boat and schedule a free Vessel Safety Check with your local U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

For additional information on other boating safety resources visit

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