Coast Guard urges boating safety this holiday weekend

Coast Guard urges boating safety this holiday weekend

Sergeant Faul says the penalties mirror each other so if you get arrested on the water you will lose your drivers license. Officers hope their work can prevent accidents from happening.

Make sure equipment including radios and boat anchors are working in case the worse happens. The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary also has an online virtual vessel safety check to use if you'd prefer to do a self-inspection.

If there is an emergency on the water, the Coast Guard is there to help.

In a boat on the water, the effects of alcohol increase because of external stressors such as engine vibration, wave motion and glare from the sun.

Game wardens made 182 boating under the influence arrests in Georgia a year ago, and alcohol was cited as a factor in 11 percent of the 116 boating incidents that killed 19 people.

Life jacket buckles should be snapped together and straps are tucked in. Technology is taking the guesswork out of navigation and daily weather reports.

Children younger than 8 must wear life jackets at all times.

Highway traffic can be a bummer, but it's important to stay safe.

"We don't want the celebration of the sacrifice of what's provided in the country that we have to turn into a personal tragedy for a person, or their family or somebody else", said Col. Mark McDonough with Georgia State Patrol. "Certainly, there are things that are beyond your control or simply can't be anticipated but by following some simple guidelines you can reduce your risk and pave the way to a trouble-free outing".

Once you're on board Coast Guard officials warn parents to keep their children supervised. Heed the boat's capacity plate on the transom or by the helm, or look up the passenger capacity in the boat's manual.

Following a pre-departure checklist is the best way to make sure no boating safety rules or precautions have been overlooked or forgotten.

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