Boating safety a concern after water rescue

Published: Jun. 14, 2021 at 8:32 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 14, 2021 at 8:37 PM CDT
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NEENAH, Wis. (WBAY) - Storms like the one Sunday night can pose a big threat to boaters who are caught off guard.

So, we decided to ask what boaters should do if the weather change in a hurry and you’re a ways from the shore.

RELATED: Sheriff’s Office: Body of missing Green Bay man recovered following boat capsize

Those who conduct rescue efforts say knowing the location of your personal floatation device (PFD) is essential.

“You should have it on, anybody under the age of 13, I believe it is, should be wearing a PFD, anytime the boat is under power. but anytime it looks like it is adverse weather, waves are getting big, wind is picking up - put your PFD’s on. Be ready for the unexpected,” said Assistant Chief Jim Peglow of the Neenah-Menasha Fire Dept.

If the boat does capsize, it’s also recommended that if possible, everyone should tether their life jackets to lessen the chances of someone becoming lost.

BM1 Trever Black of the US Coast Guard added, “In the unfortunate event that the boat does flip just stay together. I would stay with the hull because that’s a larger piece that a helicopter would be able to see that easier than just a person in the water.”

According to statistics from the US Coast Guard, 86% of those who drown in a boating accident did so because they didn’t have a PFD on.

It’s also important to make sure you have a cell phone that’s charged, and able to monitor a weather radar and receive alerts. CLICK HERE to learn about the Action 2 News First Alert Weather app.

That’s the best way to ensure you won’t be caught by surprise.

With above average temperatures, boat traffic on the water has been up, especially on the weekend. So far though, Neenah-Menasha firefighters have been fortunate they haven’t had to respond to a major incident.

Peglow said, “By being prepared for it, by having your life jackets on, and more less ready for the unexpected, the capsize, it’s going to be a little bit easier, and more likely survivable.”

CLICK HERE to learn more about life jackets from the U.S. Coast Guard.

CLICK HERE for more boating safety tips.

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