Sunday, November 3, 2013

Cold-weather boating poses special risks; caution advised

It didn't take long for the U.S. Coast Guard's warning related to cold-weather boating to find a perfect illustrated example.

Today (Sunday, Nov. 3) the Coast Guard's Station Cleveland responded to a distress call initially received by the agency's Buffalo Sector headquarters. This call spoke of two women whose kayaks both capsized at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland.

It just so happened that some Coasties were training in the area and they quickly responded to the call, ultimately rescuing both women.

At least the boaters had the foresight to each wear life jackets, the Coast Guard said which added the women were transported to nearby Whiskey Island for land transfer.

A passing boater towed the two kayaks to the island as well.

It was only October 23 when the Coast Guard issued its annual cold-weather boating advisory, primarily intended for late-season anglers and waterfowl hunters.

The advisory reminds boaters to always wear their life jackets, be mindful of the season's often changing weather conditions, have some means of calling a person including a marine radio or cell phone, not to overload a boat, avoid making exaggerated movements while aboard a small boat, to not use drugs or drink alcoholic beverages while boating, and stay with the vessel should it sink or capsize.

Oh, and ensure that any pet be properly suited up in a life jacket, too.

Just how serious some government agencies are about boating this time of year that over in Pennsylvania all persons aboard any vessel less than 16 feet in length while underway or at anchor must wear a life jacket.

So too must everyone in a canoe or kayak of any length.

This rule is applicable from Nov. 1 through April 30 and is enforced by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

Commission spokesman Keith Edwards says this law was enacted by the agency in 2011 and took effect the following year.

And, yes, the rule applies to all boaters operating a vessel on Pymatuning Reservoir, which is jointly managed by Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Signage noting the proviso are in place at the various Ohio boat-launching sites, Edwards said also.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

1 comment:

  1. It's very easy to forget safety and common sense these days.

    Thanks for the reminder.