National Boat Safety Week encourages safety in the water

(NC Wildlife Resources Commission photo)

EMERALD ISLE, Carteret County - It is National Boat Safety Week and before you hit the waves, safety advocates across the United States and Canada are encouraging boaters to take caution.

To promote safe and responsible boating, the U.S Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 20-10 out of Emerald Isle offers free boat safety inspections.

"We do recreational boating checks, we check the fire extinguishers, the navigation lights, the life jackets the radios, the condition of the boat and we help the recreational boater to be safe out there on the water," said Vince Starace, am FSO Vessel Examiner.

While members of the Flotilla expect to check a lot of boats this week, they offer the free service all year round. Examiners will come to wherever a vessel is located to check it. You can make an appointment to have your boat, kayak or paddleboard checked online.

One major thing that the Coast Guard and the Coast Guard Auxiliary out of Emerald Isle hopes people take away from this week is the importance of wearing life jackets. While an adult won't be issued a ticket for not wearing one, children 13 and under must wear one at all times.

"It's extremely important that they have life jackets and wear them, i mean just because you have a life jacket laying on the boat somewhere when you fall in that life jacket is not going to help you," said Danny Collins, member of Flotilla 20-10.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard's 2015 Recreational Boating Safety Statistics , North Carolina ranks fourth in the country for reported boating accidents, with 162.

Fore more tips on how to have a fun and safe day out on the water, click here.

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