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DEEP Offers Safety Tips For Fairfield County Boaters

DEEP reminds boaters to be safe this holiday weekend.
DEEP reminds boaters to be safe this holiday weekend. Photo Credit: File

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – When it comes to boating, Connecticut offers a wide variety of opportunities for boaters.

And this will be a very busy weekend for the Westport Police Department Marine Unit. They will be vigilant in their search for boaters who may be under the influence of alcohol, according to Capt. Sam Arciola of the Westport Police Department.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection offers the following safety tips for those going out on the water.

Complete a pre-safety boat check

A boating certificate is required to operate a registered boat. Double check the condition of all water and fuel hoses and their connections as part of your pre-safety boat check. Obtain a free Vessel Safety Check by contacting the DEEP Boating Division or the local USCG Auxiliary and US Power Squadron. If you use a state boat launch, look for Boating Education Assistants who will perform a free safety check.

Wear a life jacket

Statistics show that more than three-quarters of the people that died in boating accidents between 2010 and 2014 drowned. Of those, 90 percent were not wearing a life jacket. Putting one on before heading out could save your life.

Waterskiing/tubing safety

When waterskiing and/or tubing, shut the engine off when putting someone in the water, switching out equipment or retrieving the person. Always approach a person in the water from driver’s side. Make sure there is a spotter who understands the importance of their job to watch the skier/tuber at all times and communicate immediately to the operator if the person falls off or signals they want to stop.

Drink responsibly

Alcohol was a contributing factor for 47 percent of the victims that died in Connecticut boating accidents between 2008 and 2012. Sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion are all considered "stressors" common to the boating environment. They intensify the effects of alcohol, drugs and some medications by causing fatigue, which greatly reduces a boat operator's coordination, judgment and reaction time.

Follow DEEP on Twitter @CTBoatngInfo. Timely information will be tweeted on boat ramp status (temporary closures when at capacity, etc.), pumpout facility information and upcoming boating classes.

For more safe boating tips, click here .

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