Police patrolling the LI Sound as boaters start season on water - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Police patrolling the LI Sound as boaters start season on the water

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MILFORD, CT (WFSB) -

The holiday weekend weather improved enough for many boaters to head back out on the water.

Police departments were out on the water, too, doing safety inspections.

Hundreds of people die every year in boating accidents. The United States Coast Guard reports six people died last year in Connecticut.

Monday was Memorial Day and the boating season was underway. 

The marine unit at the Milford Police Department expanded their patrols to Long Island Sound as the boating season got underway Memorial Day.

The marine unit agreed to take Eyewitness News along on patrol to help get more information to people who plan to use Long Island Sound this summer.

They quickly spotted a violation involving a kayaker, who had a life vest, but was not wearing it.

"You have to put it on all of the time from Oct. 1 to  May 31, it's required," said Milford police officer Jeff Nielsen. "But even regardless, on a day like this, it's probably a good idea."

The marine unit also stopped a boat to do a random safety inspection where they checked for life jackets and made sure everything worked.

The boat owner did have flares, but they were expired. So he got a written warning and a reminder.

"It's a little bit of a hassle, but it's good to keep everyone safe out there," said boater Jim Cannon.

The other big concern is cold water temperature, especially after such a cold spring. The Long Island Sound is around 43 degrees. So they make sure people don't accidentally fall in.

"Obviously, the water temp is still chilly right now, if someone were to fall into the water you would have a higher chance of getting hypothermia quicker," Nielsen said.

If you want to get your own inspection, most towns have a marine divisions, so you can easily get them checked before you go out.

For reports on boat accidents and deaths investigated by the United States Coast Guard, click the following link, http://www.uscgboating.org/statistics/accident_statistics.aspx.

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