SOUTHWEST HARBOR – Since Maine weather can be unpredictable the United States Coast Guard is encouraging people to be safe and prepared before setting sail.
“The weather here in Maine is obviously getting colder and the weather is going to change. One day we may have very small seas, then we may have large seas,” said Petty Officer Second Class Kyle Hawkins.
Petty Officer Second Class Christine Hemphill said communication is key. If someone has a general idea of where you are Hemphill said it will make the search more effective if something happens.
“You should develop a float plan. With that you would call your spouse or family member and tell them where you’re going, how long you expect to be out, what your course is, your phone number, radio devices you have onboard just in case,” Hemphill said.
Hawkins said these safety tips don’t just apply for recreational boating. He said it also applies to people that are on the water every day for their job.
“Even though it is winter we have a very large commercial fleet here and they’re out constantly,” Hawkins said.
“The same things that can happen to the recreational boaters can happen to the commercial boaters as well so it’s just important for everybody to have what they need,” he said.
Hawkins said for state and federal regulations, commercial fisherman are required to have different equipment than someone would on a boat used for recreation. However, when it comes to safety, it’s all the same.
“Everybody needs life jackets, everybody needs to have some kind of a radio, everybody needs to have a sound-producing device whether it’s a whistle or one of the air horns and that’s all stuff to help keep you safe,” Hawkins said.