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Public Safety News
United States Coast Guard
News Release
Friday, September 01, 2017

Coast Guard reminds boaters to stay safe over Labor Day weekend

NEW ORLEANS – The Coast Guard reminds all mariners to exercise caution while out on the water during the Labor Day weekend.

“Due to recent storms there is a high probability you could experience significant amounts of debris in the water,” said Ed Huntsman, the boating safety program manager for the Eighth Coast Guard District. “A tree branch, board or other rubble just under the surface of the water could result in a tragic accident to a water skier and property damage to watercraft. Whether you’re out enjoying a day cruising in your boat, fishing, waterskiing or paddling a SUP, kayak or canoe, always wear a life jacket and boat responsibly. It only takes a moment for an accident to occur that can change lives forever.”

Whether you’re cruising, fishing, paddling or waterskiing, keep these tips in mind this Labor Day:

1.      Be sure everyone always wears a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket appropriate for the activity, sized and fitted for the person wearing it.

2.      Boat sober and follow the navigation rules.

3.      Keep a sharp lookout for other boaters, swimmers and debris on top or just under the surface of the waterway you are using.

4.      Check the weather forecast before departing as weather conditions often change rapidly.

5.      Remember to take plenty of water and sunscreen.

6.      Leave a float plan that includes details of your boat or paddlecraft, passenger, destination and return with someone you trust who is staying on land.

7.      Don’t rely on a cell phone to be your only source of communication in the event of an emergency. Consider carrying a DSC-VHF radio, Personal Locator Beacon worn on a life jacket or an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) on board your boat. These devices can quickly notify rescuers that you are in distress and with a properly registered DSC radio, even the nature of the distress.

Operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs is deadly and illegal in every state: it’s the leading contributing cause of 15% of boating fatalities for 2016.

“Always wear your life jacket,” said Huntsman. “I wear my inflatable life jacket and have no problem sailing our boat so I know I’ll return home safely to my family.”

For more boating safety tips, visit, or

Remembering Jim Guidry

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