U.S. Coast Guard ready for holiday weekend - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

U.S. Coast Guard ready for holiday weekend

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

With the holiday weekend here, the United States Coast Guard is preparing to keep boaters and water-goers safe this weekend.

With the weather still up in the air, officials are saying be sure to stay up to date with our forecasts every day, especially before you go out on the water. Also be sure to make sure everyone has a life jacket available and leave a "float plan" with your family, which means you should tell them exactly where and when you'll be going out on the water.

"Be prepared before you go out. Know what the weather is going to be doing prior to going out on the water. Because once you get out on the boat and get a couple of miles off shore, by the time the storm hits you may not have enough time to get back in,” said U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Trent Meyers.

Coast Guard officials also warn if you plan to drink out on the water this weekend, have a designated boat operator.

We were invited out to the Coast Guard Station on Tybee Island for an inside look at operations. There was a tour of their boats, helicopters and equipment. And we were even given a ride up and down the Savannah River.

The experts educated us with safe boating tips to pass along to you.

"Don't always rely on a cell phone. If you can, have a handheld radio with you. Because if a cell phone battery dies, or if your phone falls in the water and gets wet and it dies on you and you need to get ahold of us. Channel 16, international hailing distressed and we're always monitoring it,” said PO2 Jordan Roy, U.S. Coast Guard.

Some early season mistakes that you can easily avoid. Have those life jackets on your boat and a float plan, or a plan you leave with your family telling them where you're going and when you plan to be back.

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