Boating safety tips for Fourth of July weekend

Boating safety tips for Fourth of July weekend
Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 7:50 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Officials are reminding boaters about how to stay safe on the water ahead of the Fourth of July weekend.

As the boats make their way to the water, Public Affairs Officer for the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Rob Henson says there are several things to be aware of before your boat leaves the dock.

“Make sure your nav lights are working before you leave, you could get pulled over for that. Secondly, ask everyone on your vessel to wear a life jacket,” Henson said.

He says you should follow the “Goldilocks rule” when using a life jacket – not too tight, not too loose, but just right – and the right size.

“So if you’re going to be doing water sports, you need a jacket that is labeled for water sports. If you’re kayaking, use one that is more comfortable for kayaking, but make sure whatever activity you’re involved in, your life jacket is rated for that activity,” Henson said.

With several fireworks displays planned on the Ohio River, Henson says to enjoy those, and not light off fireworks yourself.

“Don’t launch fireworks from your boat, it’s dangerous for you, there’s a lot of fuel onboard and it’s against the law,” Henson said.

Another law he says you should be aware of regards the “kill switch” something he says can also save your life.

“If your boat comes with an emergency cut-off switch, something you attach to yourself that if you fall overboard, the engine is killed, those are now required to be worn at all times,” Henson said.

He also reminds boaters to bring enough food, water and sunscreen out on the water. Also important to note that this weekend is “Operation Dry Water,” which means no alcohol while you’re operating a boat.

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