CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga (WSAV) – It’s the weekend that kicks off the summer and kicks off boating season here across coastal Georgia, but it could also lead to a lot of extra calls for the U.S. Coast Guard. We go behind the scenes to show you guys what it’s like to answer a call.
“We’re protecting the coast 365 days of the year and that includes holidays, weekends things like that. Memorial Day is a big holiday weekend for us so a lot of boaters out on the water the weather is gorgeous today,” says Lt. Dan Gillis.
The Coast Guard, on water and in air, could clock in dozens of hours for search and rescues. They have a message for what boaters need to stay safe but also be ready to be rescued.
“It’s a satellite tracker it will send a GPS position to our command centers in Charleston or Jacksonville. You can get them for a couple hundred dollars and you can register them with NOAA,” Lt. Alex Johns
A part of their boat safety summer mission, the Guard is asking those on the water to have devices like this tracker.
“It can lead us straight to you instead of having to search for you, it can really aid in the search and get the rescue crews to you a lot faster,” says Lt. Gillis.
Even on our early morning ride, calls came in for people in the water in need of rescue. The Guard says simple safety measures can keep that from being a constant trend over the holiday.
“Don’t drink and boat, boating under the influence is almost as illegal as driving under the influence and has the same dangers associated with it. So be safe, have a plan, let people know where you’re going and wear your life jacket,” says Lt. Johns.