Aug 28, 2014 3:39 PM
Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of the boating season and is known as one of the busiest recreational boating weekends on the Mississippi River and in the Gulf of Mexico. With many boaters taking to the water, the increased recreational traffic presents additional safety hazards.
The 8th Coast Guard District would like to encourage people to have the following safety equipment onboard their vessels: life jackets for everyone aboard, a noise making device such as a horn, visual distress signals such as flares or a signal mirror and a fire extinguisher.
"Labor Day Weekend is a great time for family and friends to have fun on the water," said Capt. Melvin Bouboulis, chief of staff, 8th Coast Guard District. "We want everyone to enjoy themselves, but more importantly, we want everyone to be safe. The first step to being safe on the water is taking proper safety precautions on shore. People should know the leading contributing factors in accidents while boating is are alcohol consumption and not wearing a life jacket or having proper safety equipment. Be responsible, be save, have fun and have a great weekend!"
The following are safety tips for boaters prior to leaving the dock:
Boaters should be aware of, and obey, all federal and state regulations for recreational boating and navigation.
For more boating information, go to http://www.uscgboating.org/