Thu, Jul 25, 2024
Coast Guard urges public to prioritize boating safety on Memorial Day weekend

Coast Guard urges public to prioritize boating safety on Memorial Day weekend

  • PublishedMay 24, 2024

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Coast Guard and other first responders will be out patrolling the water this Memorial Day weekend and are asking the public to follow the law and be safe while boating.

“I’ve got a great crew with me. These guys are highly trained professionals, I’ve seen them in action,” U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Second Class Thomas Aveni said.

Aveni will be patrolling this Memorial Day weekend.

News4JAX had the opportunity to watch as the Coast Guard demonstrated a rescue drill.

From that first “man overboard” signal to the moment the person is pulled out of the water, that goal is to prevent something real from happening.

Aveni said that starts with having a Very High-Frequency radio on board.

“Cell phones, we all know… Even with the best provider, you’re not going to have excellent service 30 miles off short. Whereas a radio, you’re going to have a much better chance of survival with a radio on board,” Aveni said.

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When it comes to drinking and boating, the blood alcohol limit for a boater over the age of 21 is 0.08, the same as for a person driving a car.

“We do monitor to see, ‘Okay, is someone bow riding?’ That means sitting on the bow of your boat, especially on a great speed, that’s very dangerous. Blowing no wake zones, these are all indicators, okay, there’s a high likelihood there’s drinking taking place on that boat,” Aveni said.

Another very important item to have when boating is a life jacket. It should be bright in color to make the person more visible in the water. Plus, the life jacket should fit the person well, and everyone on board should have one.

People can also check that their life jacket has a Coast Guard approval number, that’s how they can tell if it’s legit.

MORE | Pack your patience if you’re heading to the airport Friday. TSA expects record-breaking holiday travel numbers

No matter what, have a good time, but use common sense, and take what these men and women say to heart.

“That’s why we love having the media here and having you guys put out this message. It encourages people to be your own first responder, step up for yourself, protect yourself and set yourself up for success. That way, you’re not constantly relying on other agencies and other departments and all of our local guys who are already busy as it is,” Aveni said.

Copyright 2024 by WJXT News4JAX – All rights reserved.

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