As we approach Memorial day weekend, Marine Patrol are stressing boating safety and boating courtesy this holiday weekend. Courtesy not only to other boats but property owners. Officer Johnathan Walker stressed anyone towing a passenger should stay out of the small sloughs and other vessels should stay away from any vessels towing passengers. A major safety concern is alcohol consumption. Officer Walker reminds boaters that with the heat, three drinks can be equivalent to nine and you’ll feel the effects much quicker on the water, all vessels should have a designated driver.
With the amount of traffic expected for the holiday weekend, anyone kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding should wear coast guard approved personal flotation device in the event they are knocked into the water. Competitive ski jackets are not coast guard approved. Please check your life jackets to make sure they are an approved safety device. Marine Patrol will have all hands on deck this holiday and ask that you don’t be in a hurry to get anywhere, take your time, enjoy the weather, enjoy the water and be respectful of other boaters and follow all boating regulations.
Officer Walker stressed that the boat owner needs to know where the fire extinguisher is located, the Type 4 throwable and where the life jackets are located for all passengers in case of an emergency and they are all readily accessible. Any child under the age of 8 must be wearing a coast guard approved life jacket while on a boat as well as anyone who is not comfortable in the water. Your kill switch must be attached to the driver on all vessels less than 24’ and having more than 50 hp. He reminds boaters that a kill switch is like a seat belt so if you are thrown from your vessel, that vessel will continue moving unless you have the kill switch attached. Treat the kill switch like a seat belt and keep it attached to you for safety.
If you have questions on what is required on your vessel you can go to the Marine Patrol tab of the ALEA website.