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