Maine Marine Patrol Encourages Safety Heading into Recreational Boating Season
Augusta - As we near Memorial Day weekend and the unofficial start of the summer recreational boating season, the Maine Marine Patrol provides the following reminders for a safe, enjoyable experience on Maine's coastal waters:
In Maine, all children 10 and under must wear a life jacket. Adults don't have to wear them, but they must be available on board for every occupant.
Safe boaters should also have working navigation lights, visual distress signals, sound signalling devices, VHF radio, cell phone, proper ventilation, and properly displayed registration numbers.
A thorough check of fire extinguishers and flares should be done to make sure they work.
Boaters should file a float plan with a friend or relative, letting them know where you are going and when you plan to return.
Always check the local marine forecast before heading out on Maine's coastal waters.
With current ocean temperatures in many places less than 50 degrees, paddlers and boaters on small sailing vessels should dress for the water temperature and consider wearing a dry suit or a wet suit.
In addition, the following guidance to prevent the spread of coronavirus applies to recreational boating activities:
Stay at least 6 feet away from others on the water, on the boat, and on land.
No recreational boat should have a group of more than 10 people on board.
Don't share equipment.
Avoid using boat ramps and docks while other people are on them.
When launching and loading your boat, give people ahead of you plenty of time and space to finish launching or loading before you approach.
After fueling, wash your hands with soap and water or, if soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Sanitize equipment with EPA registered products after each trip paying particular attention to high-touch surfaces (handholds & grab bars, rails, hatch latches & lids, and coolers).
If you are planning to take part in a guided boat or fishing trip, COVID-19 prevention guidance for those businesses, in the form of checklists, can be found at https://www.maine.gov/decd/covid-19-prevention-checklists
More information on Maines COVID-19 response can be found at https://www.maine.gov/covid19/
For more information on recreational boating safety, visit the Maine Department of Marine Resources website at http://www.maine.gov/dmr/marine-patrol/recboatingsafety.html