Coast Guard stresses boating safety for Memorial Day weekend

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This weekend, marinas can open up for Vermont residents, but twith new rules to follow.

“They are not supposed to meet up with other parties from other houses still and maintain social distancing,” Coast Guard Petty Officer Chase Focht says.

Focht also says the biggest mistake people make when going out on the water is not wearing their life jacket.

“Make sure people are wearing the proper safety equipment. Lifejackets, just because hypothermia, even though it is eighty degrees outside, the water is still fifty degrees and hypothermia can set in within fifteen minutes”, says Focht.

The Coast Guard recommends putting an “If Found” stickers with contact information on either your paddle craft or vessel so the Coast Guard can easily identify who it belongs too. This saves the Coast Guard a lot of time looking for a person who might need help.

“We have them at our Coast Guard station,” Focht said. “You can call us and schedule to pick one up. That way we can reach you and help you get your stuff back and it helps us know that someone is safe.”

If you are out on the water and in need of help, you can use the Coast Guard’s i911 program. This helps the Coast Guard locate you by using the GPS location on your phone. The program will send a text message to your phone and ask you to share your location.

“It will send them a ping through their phone that we are going to put in our computer and then they just have to hit accept and that will tell us where they are within three meters”, says Focht.

You can use the Coast Guards mobile app for boating safety information, such as safety equipment checklist, navigation rules, and float plans. You can also use their safe boating website for any other additional safety information.

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