Boaters talk about safety

MOBILE, Ala. – The boating season is in full swing on the gulf coast, and law enforcement agencies urge you to stay safe on the water.

As the temperatures continue to heat up on the gulf coast many of you are heading out on the water to relax and cool off.

The shortest red snapper season on record has been busy for the Coast Guard. They tell us they’ve had a number of calls in the past two weeks, including the burn victims Saturday.

“That was our first call. We had another call immediately after,” Petty Officer Robert Brown said.

Officials say there may not be a good samaritan nearby if you get in trouble on the water, that’s why is important to be prepared.

Retired minister Pat Dunn said after recent surgery it will be a few weeks before he’s able to take his 31 foot boat out on the water again.
When he does he said the boat will be stocked with all the necessary safety gear.

“Make sure you got at least two fire extinguishers, check the date on them, make sue they work, and they’re ABC. And make sure nobody has stolen them,” Dunn said.

Larry Henrikson said he tries to take his boat, “What the “L” out at least once a week.
He said safety is a priority on his vessel.

“You carry the required equipment, the life jackets, the horns, the fire extinguishers, bilge pumps, I carry the marine radio, the two way radio, also cell phones. Whatever resources you have at hand,” Henrikson said.

Henrikson has never ran into any serious trouble on the water, and he hopes to keep it that way.

“You always want to be prepared. It’s like insurance you don’t want to use it, but you want to have it,” he said.

A few simple items can save your life in an emergency;
The first is a life jacket. Boaters are required to have one life jacket per person on board, plus one.

The next step is to put them on, and keep them on.

Some other equipment you’ll want to have on board,,,flares, a marine radio, and a G-P-S device.

And finally, leave a detailed float plan with a friend or relative. If you don’t return, rescuers will know where to look.

According to the Coast Guard 101 people died last year on the gulf coast in boating accidents.

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