U.S. Coast Guard urges caution on Lake Champlain

Local News

Authorities are still trying to determine what caused a boat to capsize on Lake Champlain Saturday. A 63-year-old Berlin man was killed.

The U.S. Coast Guard in Burlington is reminding boaters to be cautious. 

“It doesn’t matter how much experience you have, something can still go wrong,” said Lucas Weston, a petty officer with the Coast Guard.      

Weston said the biggest thing the guard recommends is wearing a life jacket. He also wants people to keep in mind that although it’s June, the water temperature is still below 60 degrees. To avoid hypothermia, people should dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature 

“People should also make a float plan which is basically something telling people you trust where you’re going, how long you’re planning, when you’ll be back,” Weston said. 

There aren’t any waves or even a current on Lake Champlain. The US Coast Guard said it’s often the wind that makes things dicey out there for boaters.

“The biggest thing people will run into is the winds will pick up, we get a storm,” Weston said. “The lake water can rise quickly, if you’re out and you get caught in the middle of that, it’s tough to get out and get home and get somewhere safe,” Weston said.

If you do run into trouble, Weston said to call 911 and use flares to let others know something is wrong. 

“As long as you’re prepared for it, you’re going to have a much better chance for us to find you and help you,” he said. 

Since October, the U.S. Coast Guard in Burlington has ran 39 search and rescue calls. 

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