U.S. Coast Guard warns about boating in severe weather conditions

Boating is a summer pastime that is part of the Lowcountry culture, but with severe weather conditions, it can be especially dangerous on the water. 

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary officials want boaters to always keep safety in mind whenever they are out on the water, but they say this is especially important on days when severe weather can cause dangerous conditions out there.

They say that checking weather forecasts is essential for safe boating because stormy conditions with rough water can pose the greatest threat for boaters with potential risks of having boats overturn.

“So when we’re out on patrol, we’ll find a sailboat that’s tipped over, not used to the tidal changes,” said John Handfield, Vice Flotilla Commander, USCG.

Due to scenarios like this one, USCG officials warn boaters to be prepared with proper safety equipment and a plan while on board.

“Number one thing, you want to have a float plan, which basically, that means to let somebody know where you’re going. Have a plan on checking the weather. Also, another thing, you want to make sure you have all your lifejackets. Everybody has a life jacket on board,” said Jeffrey Wideman, USCG.

Officials say the time to start preparing is now. Make sure your boat is properly equipped. And that you are on alert for any coastal and offshore advisories and warnings if you’re planning to be out on the water.

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