SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) – This is National Safe Boating Week and with this weekend being the unofficial start of summer and the weather warming up, boaters are getting their boats ready for the start of the season.
There are some precautions you need to take before you go out on the water.
“Check all your safety equipment in your boat. Take the life jackets out tug on the straps make sure they’re not rotted, they didn’t deteriorate over the winter. Make sure your fire extinguisher is charged, your anchor and your line,” said Luke Brunelle of Brunelle’s Marina in South Hadley.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, drowning was the reported cause of death in four out of five recreational boating fatalities in 2018, and 84 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets.
This year, because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic there are additional guidelines boaters must follow.
“It’s when they’re walking down the docks they’re keeping their distance normally when people are launching their boats it’s the same no gathering at the ramps,” said Luke Brunelle.
You should also limit people aboard your boat to your immediate household and maintain social distancing on all docks when you’re getting on and off your boat.
Always remember to check the weather forecast before you leave and during your trip as well.