USCG Reminds Boaters to Prepare Before Taking to the Water (Video)

The U.S. Coast Guard wants to remind mariners to be well prepared before heading out on the water.

Several cases occurred recently that demonstrate the significance of being prepared prior to going out on the water.

On a bright Saturday afternoon, Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound received report of a disabled vessel in Fire Island Inlet.

A rescue boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Fire Island arrived on scene within an hour and towed the 17-foot recreational vessel with two people aboard to the Robert Moses Boat Basin in Babylon, New York.

The following day, a rescue boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Kings Point responded to reports of a disabled 25-foot recreational vessel with four people aboard near City Island, N.Y.

Once on scene the rescue boatcrew safely towed the vessel to Minneford Marina on City Island in Bronx, N.Y.

Later the following Sunday evening, a rescue boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Sandy Hook was launched after Coast Guard Sector New York received reports of a disabled 45-foot recreational vessel with four people aboard.

The vessel also reported that one of the people aboard was experiencing chest pains and had a history of heart problems.

The Station boatcrew arrived on scene, safely transferred the man experiencing chest pains aboard the rescue boat, and transported him to awaiting Emergency Medical Services at Station Sandy Hook in stable conditions.

(Learn More, courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard and YouTube)

Prior to heading out onto the water, ask yourself the following questions to make sure you’re prepared:

  • Do I have all required safety equipment aboard my watercraft and have I ensured it is in good working order?
  • Do I have enough U.S. Coast Guard approved lifejackets aboard?
    • The Coast Guard strongly encourages boaters and paddlers to wear their lifejackets while underway; doing so will greatly increase chances of survival in the water.
    • On a vessel that is underway, federal law requires that children under 13 must wear a Coast Guard approved lifejacket unless they are below deck, or within an enclosed cabin. 
  • Did I file a float plan?
    • It is critical to let someone know what your water plans are, including when and where you are going.
    • This may be a friend, family member, or someone else you know and trust.
    • Ensure that trusted person knows what to do in the event you do not check-in with them as planned or you do not arrive to your destination as scheduled.
    • That person should not hesitate to contact the Coast Guard.
  • Do I know the dangers of hypothermia and how to recognize and respond to someone who may be suffering from it?
  • Did I check the marine weather forecast for warnings or advisories?
    • Did I check the speed of the current and when the current changes direction?
  • Are my radios and electronic survival equipment in good working order and registered correctly?
  • Are my Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRB) and Personal Locating Beacons (PLB) operational and registered correctly?

(Learn More, courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard and YouTube)

For additional boating safety information visit

For weather information, visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s website.