The U.S. Coast Guard this summer is urging boaters to create a float plan and use the the Coast Guard Boating Safety social media app to stay safe.
“No one plans to get lost out on the water,” says a news release from the Coast Guard. “No one plans to have their boat break down far away from land. No one plans to have an accident on the water. And unfortunately, not many people plan ahead to make it easier to be found by the Coast Guard.”
If something happens, the Coast Guard can rescue boaters faster if they have all the pertinent information, kept in a float plan. You can download a form from the Coast Guard and give it to a friend or family member staying on land.
Kayakers, fishermen, canoeists, jet skiers and private charter boat services are also urged to prepare a plan, with names, descriptions, information about the vessel and the planned itinerary.
The free Boating Safety App which provides safety state information, a safety equipment checklist, weather reports from the nearest National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather buoy and navigation rules,
The app doesn’t replace a radio. To contact the Coast Guard, boaters should use marine radios on VHF Channel 16.