Five Important Boating Safety Tips for Labor Day Weekend
SOUTHOLD, NY – July 30, 2013 – The 2013 Labor Day holiday weekend, which runs August 30-September 2, marks the unofficial end of summer in much of the U.S. It’s also one of the busiest boating weekends of the year. With that in mind, the nonprofit Sea Tow Foundation for boating safety offers these five important tips to help boaters to help them enjoy the weekend on the water and stay safe!
- Wear a life jacket – Life jackets save lives, but only if you wear them. New options such as inflatable belt packs and vests make life jackets cool and comfortable. Wear one at all times while on the water. Don’t forget that children under the age of 13 are required to wear life jackets by law.
- Designate a sober skipper – Boat operators need to be clear-headed and able to make quick decisions while on the water. Drinking alcohol or taking drugs— even some over-the-counter or prescription medicines—decreases reaction time and the ability to think clearly. And, in most states operating a boat while intoxicated will land you in jail.
- Carry a VHF radio – Today’s boaters often rely on cell phones. However, they can be unreliable on the water where coverage is often spotty or nonexistent. A VHF radio allows you to broadcast a call for help to anyone in your area monitoring Channel 16 (the hailing and distress channel), as well as the U.S. Coast Guard. Before heading out, make sure that VHF is operational by performing a radio check. In many regions across the country, you can do this via the free Sea Tow Automated Radio Check service. To find the VHF channel for a radio check in your area, visit www.seatow.com/boating-safety/automated-radio-checks.
- Don’t overload the boat – This is one of the most overlooked and abused boating safety guidelines. The number of seats available on board is not always the best indicator of capacity. Look for the weight capacity plate on the transom or by the helm, or look up the passenger capacity in the builder’s manual.
- Stay in tune with the weather – Storms can develop and sneak up quickly, especially when you’re having fun on the water and not paying attention. Appoint weather watchers for the whole group and ask them to listen to the radio for the latest reports. Better yet, get the free Sea Tow App for iPhone and Android smartphones, which offers a handy Weather/Radar function for monitoring weather activity and forecasts. To download the App, visit www.seatow.com/app.
About the Sea Tow Foundation
In 2007, Sea Tow Founder and CEO Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer created the Sea Tow Foundation – a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization – to promote safe boating practices. The Foundation’s goal is to reduce accidents, fatalities and property damage related to recreational boating. For more information, please visit boatingsafety.com.
About Sea Tow
Now celebrating its 30th anniversary year, Sea Tow Services International Inc. is the nation's leading on-water assistance provider. Established in 1983 by Founder & CEO Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer, Sea Tow now serves members in more than 100 locations throughout the United States, Europe, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. For a full list of membership benefits, how to become a Sea Tow member, or to inquire about becoming a Sea Tow franchise owner, please visit seatow.com.
In addition to providing peace of mind on the water 24/7 to Sea Tow members and other boaters, Sea Tow also offers innovative, free boating safety and information services to the public, including the Sea Tow App for smartphones, Sea Tow's Automated Radio Check Service, and the nonprofit Sea Tow Foundation's Life Jacket Loaner Station program. For more information, visit www.seatow.com and www.boatingsafety.com.