If your weekend plans at the Jersey Shore include a trip out on the water, members of the United States Coast Guard say you should fully inspect your boat before you leave the dock. This message is one they are trying to get out as part of Operation Weekend Warrior.
Summer isn't over yet, but as we prepare for the last big weekend at the Jersey Shore, the United States Coast Guard has one message. "Trying to remind people to be safe out on the water this holiday weekend." And they will be patrolling the waters all weekend long to get that point across.
It's Operation Weekend Warrior. "We act as eyes and ears, trying to be the friendly face of the Coast Guard." But they won't be so friendly if they catch you breaking boating regulations.
For instance, boating under the influence. "It's just as dangerous as driving behind the wheel of a car. And it's nothing to take lightly," said Justin Lacy of the U.S. Coast Guard.
It's also required that boats be equipped with a life jacket for every passenger. Just like Joe Fucetola who docks his boat at the Farley State Marina. "Have them handy. On hand close by and not buried in a cabinet somewhere. It has to be readily accessible. You never know when you are going to need it."
But just having jackets on board is not enough. You need to have the right sizes available to for each passenger. This is especially important when it comes to children. "When you have it on a child. Put your fingers under the shoulder and lift. What that does is the jacket will come up." Bob Babezki of the Coast Guard Auxiliary says if it catches under the head, it is sized properly.
Children under the age of thirteen are required to wear life jackets at all times.
Before you even leave the dock, these professionals say it's important that you perform a safety check. Just like Captain Jeffrey Hoffberger. "We check all the fluid levels, we check for any leaks. We check that our safety equipment in proper. That includes something that locates your boat or someone in the water if something does happen."
In the event of an emergency you need to have a radio on board, in addition to a fully charged cell phone
The Coast Guard also says you should check the weather before making your plans this weekend, and if rain is in the forecast they say stay on land.
If you are caught boating under the influence you will have to forfeit both your boaters and your drivers license.
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