The tragic boat accident in Long Island Sound on the evening of July 4th, that claimed the lives of three children after the yacht they were on capsized, prompted Schroon Laker Heather Dibble to remind us about being vigilant about boating safety.
In the Long Island tragedy -- a vessel meant to carry 15 people was in fact carrying 27 -- when it tipped over. The three children drowned. The cause of the accident is still under investigation, but a combination of the boat skipper’s actions, allegedly turning suddenly, and a wave caused by boat traffic, are two possible causes.
Heather points out that we all have a tendency to let our guard down and become complacent when we are on vacation and have friends visiting.
So, with that in mind, we are linking to the US Coast Guard’s Boat safety page here. If you haven’t taken a boat safety course, find one and take it. Here are the headlines:
Wearing a life vest (aka a PFD: Personal Flotation Device) for passengers under 12 is mandatory in New York State.
Always carry enough PFDs for everyone onboard. Carry a flotation device you can throw to someone in distress in the water.
Have a “float plan”. The skipper should brief passengers about where the PFDs are stored, and what passengers should do in the case of an emergency.
Always follow your boat manufacturer’s suggested guidelines for the number of passengers and weight restrictions on your vessel.
Don’t BUI – Boat Under the Influence.
Carry flares and/or an air horn.
Ventilate your boat’s engine compartment upon starting and refueling for at least 5 minutes to let any accumulation of gas fumes dissipate.
Carry a fire extinguisher.
Tell someone where you are going and what time you expect to be back.