Distress flares are vital to boating safety, but pyrotechnic flares can pose a safety hazard to people not trained in their use. In addition, expired flares can create environmental hazards through leaching chemicals when disposed of in landfills or at sea. As an alternative, the Coast Guard has been researching the suitability of light emitting diode (LED) devices as effective distress signals through its Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Program.
Now that you know all about life jackets, safety equipment, and why float plans are so vital to you and your passengers, here is some great U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and State boating resources that you need to know.
In 2014, the Coast Guard was notified of 4,064 boating accidents that resulted in 610 people killed, 2,678 injuries and approximately $39 million of damage to property. But that does not tell the entire story.
For the most part, we go out on the water to get somewhere or to just have fun. Either way, a successful and enjoyable trip includes having good equipment and knowing how to use it, knowing where to go and what to stay away from and being ready for emergencies. An annual vessel safety check is an excellent way to prepare for time on the water. It is completely free and voluntary, will help ensure compliance with regulations and might help avoid a tragedy.