Coastal Boating, Sailing, Cruising, Yachting, Racing, Coastal, Sailboat, Yacht, Fleet, Club, Regatta, Commodore, One design, Social, Long Island Sound, Narragansett Bay, Buzzards Bay, Chesapeake Bay, Island, Seamanship, NE waters, NOAA, NWS



Coast Guard, state authorities warn against unsafe boating

As New England summer recreational boating increases, the Coast Guard and state authorities are ramping up boating safety education efforts to reduce preventable accidents on the water.

“As we head into the Fourth of July weekend - traditionally a very heavy recreational boating period - it's imperative that boaters remember to balance fun with responsibility,” said Coast Guard Capt. Michael Baroody, commander Sector Northern New England.

Already in 2016, there have been 18 fatalities in New England waters. Of those, 14 involved victims who were not wearing life jackets. More than half occurred in Northern New England which includes the coastal waterways of Maine, New Hampshire, and Lake Champlain in Vermont and New York.

“The fatalities that have already occurred on Maine waters this year are tragic reminders that boaters must take all safety precautions every time they head out,” said Colonel Jonathan B. Cornish of the Maine Marine Patrol.

“Maine's coast provides tremendous recreational opportunities but we strongly encourage boaters to think ‘safety first’ so they can enjoy lasting memories of a great time on the water,” said Cornish.

And while the opportunities are tremendous, the terrain is treacherous.

"Northern New England has an extremely challenging and complex operating environment,” said Baroody.

In addition to the environment, Baroody said a lack of planning also presents unique challenges. “Unprepared boaters make it more difficult for the Coast Guard and other response agencies to locate and assist them if they are in distress.”

Authorities urge boaters to follow these best practices to ensure a fun day on the water and safe return to land:

•    Always wear a life jacket when on the water, and ensure those with you were a life jacket.  For more information on life jacket safety, visit the National Safe Boating website at

•    Boat Sober!  Preferably, no one aboard will consume alcohol while underway.  However, if consuming alcohol, drink responsibly while boating and use a designated (non-drinking) experienced boat operator.

•    Dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature. Cold water temperature in the region - even during summer months - poses a substantial risk to even the most prepared boaters. Wear layers if boating in cooler   weather, and bring an extra set of clothes in case you get wet. If using paddle craft, consider the use of a wetsuit.

•    Check for the latest marine weather forecast, including the water temperature, prior to departure and regularly obtain weather updates throughout your trip.  Weather can change very rapidly, especially when on the water.

•    Have multiple means of communication, especially a VHF radio. Cell phones (with full battery and a charger), satellite phones, emergency position indicating radio beacons (EPIRBs), and personal locator beacons (PLBs) call also all contribute in an emergency situation.

•    Ensure all safety equipment works prior to departure. This includes checking fire extinguishers, expiration dates on flares, and ensuring a working hand-held radio and sound producing device (horn or whistle)

•    File a float plan to include details about your trip at  

•    Ensure that your deployable flotation device (such as a life ring) remains accessible at all times.

•    Know your vessel’s weight and passenger capacity and never exceed it.

•    Know and follow the navigational rules of the road.

•    Don’t panic if you fall into the water.  Stay afloat with the help of your life jacket and regain control of your breathing.  Stay with your vessel if at all possible.

•    Prepare your boat and schedule a free Vessel Safety Check with your local U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

For additional information on other boating safety resources please visit



Attention Sailing Organizations & PR Agencies:
Add us to your distribution list, contact us today

Joy of sailingCoastal Boating (Reg. in Ireland No. 443222) is a division of Knowledge Clinic Ltd.
Port Aleria, Rosnakilly, Kilmeena, Westport, Co. Mayo, Ireland - USA: PO Box 726, Mahwah, NJ 07430
All content on this site is subject to Copyright© - All rights reserved.
Contact us - Advertising - Privacy - Terms & Conditions - Copyright & Trademark - Webmaster