CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Independence Day Holiday is a popular time for boaters to head out on the water. The increased traffic is causing the U.S. Coast Guard to issue a reminder about boating safety. Last year in the United States, there were more than 4,000 boating accidents leading to 626 deaths.
This week alone in the Great Lakes, Coast Guard Crews responded to 100 distress calls. They rescued seven people and assisted 133 others.
Crews also arrested six people for boating under the influence.
The Coast Guard offers the following tips for boaters:
- Always wear a life jacket. There’s little time to grab one once and accident happens. 85% of drowning victims last year were not wearing a life jacket.
- Do not try to swim for shore.
- Have a marine band radio or some kind of signaling device to be able to communicate an emergency.
- Stay up to date on the weather forecast.
- File a float plan with a friend before you head out. That means letting someone, not on the boat, know where you are going and when you plan to be back.
- Do not boat under the influence. It's illegal and dangerous.
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