The July 4th holiday weekend is associated with boating and drinking. The Safe Boating Campaign and the U.S. Coast Guard are reminding boaters to boat sober during the holiday weekend to avoid deadly accidents.
The side effects of alcohol or drug use, such as impaired judgment, reduced balance and poor coordination, are magnified while boating, due to environmental conditions from the sun, wind and boat motion.
Additionally, as COVID-19 continues to spread, the National Safe Boating Council is recommending boaters follow local guidance for social distancing and outdoor recreation.
The Safe Boating Campaign offers these safety tips for boating and social distancing:
Follow state and local guidance for outdoor recreation.
Share a float plan with a family member or friend with the details of your trip in the event of an emergency.
Always wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
Carry all required boating safety equipment such as flares, navigation light, a horn or whistle, and a first aid kit.
Limit the people aboard your boat to people within your immediate household.
Stay at least six feet away from other people who do not live in your house.
Maintain safe distance at the fuel dock or loading up at the marina.
Wash hands frequently or use a hand sanitizer, especially after touching a marina gate or fuel pump.
Don’t raft up to other boaters or pull up onto a beach next to someone else as it puts you in closer proximity with others.
Go right from your house to the boat and back so that you don’t have unnecessary contact with anyone.
Pack food, water and other things you may need as restaurants and marina stores may not be open.
Never boat under the influence.
Do not boat distracted and travel at safe speeds.
Have more than one communication device that works when wet.