As the Pacific Northwest prepares to kick off the 2010 boating season, the U.S. Coast Guard issued a news release reminding boaters to have a ‘SWEET’ time on the water.
Here is the rest of the news release:
S – Safety
* Don’t drink and boat
* Wear a life jacket
* Ensure your eqipment is labeled with the proper contact information. Click here for more information.
* Check weather forecasts
* Dress for the water, not the weather
E – Equipment
* Carry a VHF-FM marine radio
* Make sure your boat is in good repair
* Get a free vessel safety exam from the Coast Guard Auxillary
E – Environment
* Keep a sharp lookout and monitor the weather and sea conditions
* Keep your distance from military, passenger and commercial shipping
* Check all safety gear and ensure that everybody is trained in its use
* Take a boating class; educated boaters are safe boaters
Boaters can get some assistance in ensuring they are properly prepared by taking advantage of some of the services offered by the Coast Guard Auxiliary and the U.S. Power Squadron; volunteer organizations dedicated to promoting safe boating. Both organizations offer a variety of safe boating courses, as well as free vessel safety checks, which can help ensure a boat is properly equipped. To find out more information about what courses are being offered and to get more information, visit www.uscgaux.org or www.usps.org.
In Puget Sound observe the vessel traffic zones and stay clear of large commercial ships, tugs and barges. Follow the rules of the road and be a considerate boater. Operate at a safe speed, a safe speed is the distance you can safely stop to avoid a collision in the prevailing visibility and or density of boating traffic
Due to the large number of Navy facilities in the Puget Sound region, the Coast Guard is advising boaters to operate cautiously within the vicinity of naval vessels. Boats must not approach within 100 yards of any U.S. Naval vessel, passenger vessel over 100 feet in length (including ferries), or tank vessels, unless they have received permission to do so from the ships captain, or from any official escort/patrol vessel that may be present. Boaters must also operate their vessels at minimum speed within 500 yards of those vessels. Violators face up to six years in prison and a $250,000 fine.