Coast Guard urges boating safety this summer in PNW | New

The Coast Guard urges boaters to be prepared this National Safe Boating Week as summer approaches the Pacific Northwest.

This year, National Safe Boating Week takes place from Saturday to May 27. National Boating Safety Week promotes safe boating practices for boaters to reduce preventable accidents and fatalities. The Coast Guard encourages boaters to become safer, ever-ready boaters this 2022 boating season.

As the air temperature rises with the arrival of summer, be aware that the water temperature in the Pacific Northwest remains dangerously cold.

In 2020 in the United States, 86% of drowning victims who died were not wearing a life jacket. Alcohol consumption is the largest known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents. When the main cause was known, alcohol was listed as the main factor in 18% of deaths.

The factors that contributed the most to fatal accidents were: failure to wear a lifejacket, inattention or inexperience of the operator, alcohol and drug use, dangerous waters, weather and violations of navigation rules.

Remember: life jackets are required by law to be on all vessels, including kayaks, canoes and paddle boards. Federal law requires all children 13 and under to wear a life jacket.

Below are the steps you can take to ensure you have a fun time on the water this boating season:

– Wear protective clothing to help reduce exposure. Boaters and paddlers should always wear protective clothing suitable for the temperature of the water in which they are recreating (such as a dry suit). Pacific Northwest waters are deceptively colder than the air temperature, especially in early spring and summer. This risk is often not recognized by inexperienced paddlers until they find themselves in freezing water after capsizing or falling overboard.

– Wear a life jacket. The Coast Guard urges all boaters and paddlers to wear (not stow/bring) a properly fitted US Coast Guard approved life jacket. Putting on a life jacket is much more difficult once you’re in the water, especially if you’re tired or injured. Wearing an ill-fitting lifejacket is just as deadly as not wearing one at all. Carry!

– Identify your paddle boat with an “If Found” sticker. Placing a “if found, please call” sticker on your paddle boat, with your contact information, can not only get your boat back to you quickly if it accidentally drifts away, but it can also help rescuers determine what type of intervention is needed. . If you are looking for stickers, you can contact your local maritime law enforcement agency, US Coast Guard Auxiliary, US Power and Sail Squadron, or local Coast Guard unit. Rate it!

– Take a boating safety course. Research shows that boaters believe they are boating safely if they have the proper equipment and training, although statistics show that boating safely is really a matter of their own behavior. Take it!

– Get a Ship Security Check.Get a Free Ship Security Check Inspection from the Coast Guard Auxiliary. CSVs are offered by experienced members of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. A VSC is your best bet to learn about issues that could put you in violation of state or federal laws or, worse, create danger to you or your passengers on the water. You understand!

– Boat always sober. Never sail under the influence. It is illegal to operate a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Alcohol consumption is the largest known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents.

These simple steps can make sure you’re ready to enjoy the water safely and responsibly.

About Patricia Kilgore

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