As the The U.S. Coast Guard continues to search for the young Florida boaters in the Tybee Island area–
–They want to take this time to remind everyone about the importance of having everything you need in the boat to keep you safe before you head out on the water.
News 3’s Courtney Cole spoke with The Marine Safety Unit of the Coast Guard here in Savannah, and they went through a list of items that could be helpful to you if you end up stuck out a sea.
“On the waterways, it takes time to get out to where you are, so you always need to make sure that you have the safety equipment on you,” said Lieutenant Josiah Toepfer of the Marine Safety Unit of The U.S. Coast Guard in Savannah.
Toepfer told News 3 one of the most important items you need is a life jacket…
“Coast guard requires that you have one life jacket for everyone aboard your craft whenever you get underway. If your boat is over 16-feet-long, you’re also going to need a throw-able life jacket or life preserver. You might recognize those as a floating ring or a floating seat cushion.”
Next he says you need to be sure someone will be able to see you…
“If you’re going out between sunset and sunrise, or if you boat is over 16-feet-long, make sure you have some type of Coast Guard approved flares on board.”
..Or hear you if you’re in distress…
“If your boat is under 40-feet-long, you need to have some sort of sound-producing device, over 40-feet long, you need to have two sound-producing devices–so that if fog rolls in or it gets really cloudy or reduced visibility, you can actually make your position known to other boats around you so people can find you,” Toepfer said.
Electronic positioning devices like the one pictured above, or a VHF radio can also help Coast Guard to locate you quickly.
But now that you know some of the items that could help to save your life… where can you find them?
“A majority of these items you can purchase at your local boating supply stores…a lot of your marinas will share some of these items, also,” said Toepfer.
Here are some additional resources you can take advantage of to stay safe when you take your boat out on the water:
You can download the Coast Guard app on your Android or iPhone: http://apple.co/1LS6x8e
-It will create a boating safety checking list based on the information that you provide about your boat. There is also an emergency assistance button that allows you to contact them if you need help.
Click here to learn more about The Coast Guard Auxiliary Team that will help you prepare your boat and do a boat safety check: http://cgaux.org/
Click here for the official website of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Boating Safety Division: http://uscgboating.org/
Click here for NOAA Marine Weather Information: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/home.htm