SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Saturday marks the start of Safe Boating Week, and local law enforcement and the U.S. Coast Guard want to make sure you know the ropes when it comes to safe boating.
Boat sales hit record highs during the pandemic. With this trend came a rise in boating accidents as well. Almost 80 percent of deaths in U.S. waterways are drownings, and of those 86 percent were not wearing life jackets, for this reason, law enforcement say above all else wear your life vest.
Other tips include to check the weather before heading out as things can change very quickly. Have a backup communication device like a VHF radio. Other tips shared by the United States Coast Guard include:
- Filing a float plan before departing including name, boat type and identification, route, and expected return time
- Keeping personal locator beacons in your vessel or on your person to send for help if you’re in distress
- Wearing an engine cut off switch link
- Labeling your vessels, oars and life jackets in case they float away from storage
More information on boating safety can be found on the U.S. Coast Guard’s website.