Boating Safety: Tips for Staying Safe on Lake Erie on Memorial Day

It’s that time of year again to get out on Lake Erie and enjoy the waters. But before you “wash”, safety measures are in place for everyone on board.

Fountain Glenn was live from the Bayfront this morning with more.

In 2019, there was a spike in boating deaths on Lake Erie.

Then in 2020, because of the pandemic, many people wanted to leave their homes. The number of boat owners has increased, which means more inexperienced boaters on the water, resulting in more Coast Guard response calls.

The Coast Guard reminds boaters to stay safe and remember the following safety tips.

A summer activity for many boats on Lake Erie – but before getting on board, boat owners should make sure their boat is fully equipped with the proper safety equipment.

“If you are an inexperienced boater, know your equipment before you go. Make sure you have all your safety equipment, PFDs, signaling devices, disposable inflatable devices. These are all items the Coast Guard needs, ”said LTJG Joe Neff, Coast Guard Area Public Affairs Officer in Buffalo.

For captains, safety is a top priority …

“When you are there you are sure there might be boats around you, but it is the idea that you are leaving here safe and wanting to come back safe” said Bob Zawadzki, captain of Perch Pirate.

The United States Coast Guard can stop any boat in the waters for a safety inspection.

“We make sure that there are enough life jackets on board for everyone who is currently on the ship, a disposable flotation device, a seat cushion or a lifebuoy that can be quickly thrown away, signaling devices, we make sure your navigation lights up work, good communication equipment on board, ”LTJG Neff.

With 40 years of boating experience, Captain Zawadzki has advice for new boat owners.

“The first rule is common sense. There are set rules that have been around for hundreds of years regarding the colors of buoys and stuff like that. My two favorites are “if in doubt go for it”, “big boat, small boat,” said Captain Zawadzki.

Places in Erie to take classes are with the Erie Power SquadronPlus, they do voluntary inspections so that you pass those random Coast Guard inspections.

About Patricia Kilgore

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