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Friday, October 24, 2014

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Tips providing for a safe boating season

Published 10:51 am, Sunday, May 25, 2014
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The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, with the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and the U.S. Power Squadrons, is renewing the state's commitment to promote the importance of making safe and responsible boating choices while on the water.

Boaters are reminded to avoid factors, such as inattention, careless or reckless operation, excessive speed and alcohol consumption, that can lead to accidents.

DEEP reminds boaters of a few safety tips in order to ensure that they return home safely:

Take a boating or canoe/kayak safety class; it is required to operate a registered boat.

Obtain a free vessel safety check. Contact the local USCG Auxiliary and U.S. Power Squadrons.

Dress for the water temperature, especially when on small boats; temperatures in Long Island Sound are still in the mid-50s on lakes and ponds they are only in the mid-60s. Ending up in the water when body temperatures are 98.6 degrees can be a huge shock.

Drink responsibly. Alcohol was a contributing factor in 44 precent of the fatal accidents reported in Connecticut from 2008 to 2012. Wait to have a drink until safely back at the dock. Sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion intensify the effects of alcohol, drugs and some medications by causing fatigue, which reduces a boat operator's coordination, judgment and reaction time.

Double check the condition of all water and fuel hoses and their connections. Accidents whereby boats sink or have fires onboard are generally a springtime occurrence.

Wear a lifejacket. Connecticut joins the National Safe Boating Campaign in its efforts to promote wearing a life jacket. Statistics show that almost three-quarters of the people who died in boating accidents between 2008 and 2012 drowned. Of those, 90 percent were not wearing a life jacket.