Coast Guard Encourages Safe Boating Practices During World Series

SAN FRANCISCO – The Coast Guard reminds boaters the importance of safe boating during the World Series.

It is well known, McCovey Cove is a popular area for boaters to gather and enjoy the game, and the Coast Guard reminds boaters to have the required safety equipment and to exercise good judgment while on the water.

There will be a limited access area in place for the game. Vessels more than 65 feet will not be permitted to enter McCovey Cove. The area extends from the 3rd Street Bridge to the eastern edge of the China Basin Park.

It is against the law for anyone to operate a vessel on the water under the influence of alcohol. The legal limit while operating a vessel is .08 BAC. Consumption of alcohol by anyone else aboard is also strongly discouraged.

A life jacket is required for each person aboard a vessel, sized accordingly and easily accessible. Children younger than 13 years old are required by federal law to wear a life jacket at all times. Boaters are also reminded to equip their vessels with flares and an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon with 406 MHz capabilities to enable a faster response by the Coast Guard in the event of an emergency.

Boaters are required to have an operational marine VHF radio to contact the Coast Guard on channel 16 in the event an emergency. Due to the high mountainous areas throughout the region, boaters should not rely on their cell phones as a means of communication. In order to expedite the Coast Guard’s response during an emergency, mariners should have a GPS unit on board or maintain knowledge of local waters and know their location at all times. The Coast Guard reminds radio operators that VHF channel 16 is an emergency channel and improper transmissions on channel 16 hamper Coast Guard response times. False maydays are punishable under federal law.

The Coast Guard strongly recommends that all boaters file a float plan with a friend or family member on land, with an approximate time of return and point of destination. It is recommended that you regularly check in with those who are aware of your plan, especially if it should change.

Paddle craft operators are encouraged to, not only file a float plan, but also mark their vessels with their emergency contact information in case they become separated from their paddle craft. The Coast Guard offers free “Operation Paddle Smart” identification stickers. To receive a sticker, please contact 510-399-7317.

Mariners are encouraged to check current and forecasted weather conditions prior to getting underway, and remain aware of changing conditions once on the water. The National Weather Service broadcasts weather conditions throughout the day on VHF channel WX2. The Coast Guard broadcasts weather conditions on VHF channel 22A at 9:30 a.m., noon, and 4:30 p.m.

Prior to taking to the water, boaters are encouraged to go to http://uscgboating.org for more complete information on safe boating. The Coast Guard also highly recommends boaters get a free vessel-safety inspection from the Coast Guard Auxiliary. More information on these inspections can be found at http://www.vesselsafetycheck.org/. A few minutes now could save a life later.

Current weather information and advisories can be found on the National Weather Service website. http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/zone/west/mtrmz.htm

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Filed under Boat Operation, Boating News, Boating Safety

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