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The Coast Guard urges mariners in the Gulf to remain cautious and practice safe boating with severe weather predicted by the National Weather Service for this week. Mariners who plan on being out on the water should exercise extreme caution and be aware of changing weather conditions.
Here are some tips mariners should employ if planning to go on the water:
- Always check weather and tide before going out on the water. Have a plan in the event of inclement weather.
- All boaters should have and make use of personal flotation devises (PFDs). There should be enough PFDs onboard for everyone.
- Gulf and inland river boaters should have a VHF marine radio and keep a listening watch on channel 16. Channel 16 allows boaters to hear important information such as weather warnings, navigational warnings and the distress calls of their fellow boaters. Having the radio turned on and set to channel 16 also enables boaters to call immediately for help if in distress.
- Label your personal recreational vessels such as kayaks or canoes with contact information. Labels with contact information will help the Coast Guard distinguish between a missing persons case or a vessel that floated away.
- Make sure your vessels and paddle vessels are properly moored and tied off.
- All boaters, including paddlers, who operate on the open Gulf or on big bodies of water should have an emergency ditch kit with safety, signaling and survival equipment that they can use if they become stranded at sea or on a remote shoreline.
- Have an a float plan. Provide a reliable friend or family member with pertinent information about your voyage and a description of your vessel.
For more information follow The Coast Guard on Facebook and Twitter.