U.S. Coast Guard offers boating safety tips

MARQUETTE — Boating season is right around the corner.

And the United States Coast Guard is asking boaters to exercise caution while out on the water.
The Coast Guard – Marquette Station covers Lake Superior from Big Bay to Grand Marais. Sometimes, their response time by boat can be two hours or more.

One of the biggest things the Coast Guard stresses is to dress not for the air temperature, but for the temperature of the water. Having a float plan and wearing a life-jacket at all times are also recommended by the Coast Guard.

“If you fall off your boat and you hit that cold water, there’s a chance you’re going to get a gasp reflex, inhale some water and you risk a drowning,” said Timothy Koscielny of the USCG – Marquette Station. “Wearing a life jacket will keep you afloat so that doesn’t happen. Having that float plan with a family member or a friend is a great idea, so if you don’t show back up at the dock or don’t show back up at your house when you’re supposed to, they can notify the coast guard and we can start putting a search plan together in help trying to locate you,” Koscielny added.

Carrying a fully charged cell phone or even having a marine radio on-board could make the difference in a life or death situation. The Coast Guard monitors channel sixteen– the emergency frequency– at all times.

Before you do take your boat into the water, the USCG Auxiliary is offering free vessel safety checks. To schedule an inspection, contact one of the following people:

  • -Steve Turausky (906) 362-9832
  • -Jim Dunn (906) 458-6850
  • -Greg Hanson (906) 225-1594 or (906) 360-8278