ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Memorial Day weekend is often seen as the unofficial start of summer, and as the weather gets warmer more people will be getting their boats out for the season (even if the weather isn’t cooperating for the Holiday this year.) The National Weather Service partnered with the National Safe Boating council this week to help promote best safe boating practices as you take on the waters of the Great Lakes and Finger Lakes.
The highly changeable nature of the weather has a huge impact on wave conditions that can change rapidly, and potentially create life-threatening conditions. Environmental hazards such as fog and lightning can pose a large threat to boaters and catch them off guard. In the event of of storms or other inclement weather, it’s important to know your warnings and advisories when out on the water.
From the National Weather Service:
- Marine Warning: Take Action! A warning is issued when dangerous conditions are imminent or occurring. If you are in at sea, take immediate action to protect yourself and your boat.
- Marine Watch: Be Prepared: A watch is issued when conditions are favorable for a specific hazardous weather event to occur. This is the time to start preparing, not when a warning is issued.
Here are some tips to ensure the most safety:
If you encounter fog while on the water, ensure boaters are wearing their life jackets and reduce your speed. It’s also recommended to display your navigation lights and sound warning signals if neccesary.
If a storm is approaching and you hear thunder, remember the phrase, when thunder roars, head indoors! Head to shore, and stay on land until the storm passes.
Make sure to have enough life jackets on board that are U.S. Coast Guard approved for everyone and wear them. Be sure to know and understand the nautical rules of navigating the waters, and utilize the vessel safety check program. You can utilize this free program to learn about unsafe conditions about your boat that are in violation of any federal laws that could put you, and anyone else on board in harm’s way.
Remember to stay safe, and also have fun! PLUS, you can always get the latest on the forecast HERE.
~Meteorologist Christine Gregory