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Coast Guard urges safe boating ahead of large Memorial Day crowds on waters

Members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary in Milford reminded boaters Friday to remember basic life-saving tips when out on the water.

MILFORD, Conn. — As people all around the state get ready to hit the water for Memorial Day Weekend, the waterways are expected to be crowded with boaters.

Members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary in Milford reminded boaters Friday to remember basic life-saving tips when out on the water. 

"It’s a good idea to wear your life jacket," said Tom Violante. "It would be a good idea to teach everyone on your boat how to operate the radio so you can hear reports or if the skipper is incapacitated and always have a life preserver in case someone goes overboard. Keep your eyes open, no drinking on the water and put your safety vest on before you even get on the boat, and for little children especially." 

In order to prevent as many water accidents as possible, it's important to have a safety plan in place for everyone on the boat.

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"Use what we call a float plan and let somebody know where you’re going, who was on your vessel and what time you’re going to be home. If you change your plan, make sure that you notify them so we don’t have to start sending Coast Guard assets out there when you’re already someplace else," said Timothy Mulherin. 

They said a majority of boating accidents happen because people weren’t educated and never had a safe boating course.

Classes in Milford are offered regularly; The next one is scheduled for June 4 at 8 a.m. 

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"It’s very critical that folks have a good, strong idea at how the current changes, the tides, the weather things like that so people can keep safe and the boating safety courses are critical for everyone," said Lowell Siegel. 

It's important for boaters to be aware of other boaters out on the water, including kayaks and smaller boats that are more common. 

Anyone that needs to report a water accident should call 9-1-1. 

Lindsey Kane is a reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at Lkane@fox61.com. Follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

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