Marine unit shares boating safety tips ahead of Memorial Day weekend

Boating safety ahead of Memorial Day weekend
Published: May. 26, 2022 at 5:45 PM EDT
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(WFSB) - With nice weather on tap for the Memorial Day weekend, plenty of boaters are expected to head out on the water over the next few days.

Plenty of marine units will be out making sure everyone is staying safe.

For Fairfield’s Marine Unit the long holiday weekend is busy making sure boaters are following the rules.

“We’re expecting great weather, with great weather brings a lot of boating,” said Lt. Michael Paris with Fairfield police.

If you’re going to be out on the water this weekend, police marine units around the state want folks to stay safe.

Fairfield Police Officer Keith Perham says there are always a couple of issues.

“New boaters, not aware of the region and also life jackets, either no life jackets or not enough life jackets, that’s our biggest concern,” Perham said.

Connecticut had two water related fatalities last weekend.

Those out on the water stress that while the weather might be warming up, the water is still pretty cold.

“It’s about 15 minutes before you start losing muscle control, depending on body weight,” said Perham. “The two people we lost in the region were due to hypothermia. They had life jackets on board, but weren’t wearing them, got in the water, got hypothermia.”

According to the United States Coast Guard, 86-percent of drowning victims in recreational boating accidents were not wearing a life jacket.

During National Safe Boating Week, marine units want to remind you that you need to have a life jacket for every person on board.

That includes boarding boats, to make sure those out on the water have everything they need.

Police say it’s all about education.

“We want people to get out there and have fun, but also do so in a manner that is safe for them and their family,” said Paris.

For a complete breakdown from the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection when it comes to all the requirements and regulations to keep you safe out on the water, click here.