Coast Guard warning boaters to be safe during holiday weekend - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Coast Guard warning boaters to be safe during holiday weekend

Amy Petersen Amy Petersen

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – During the fourth of July weekend, HPD will not be the only ones making sure people are following the law. The US Coast Guard, the Department of Land and Natural Resources and other state agencies will be also be patrolling out on the ocean throughout the weekend.

The US Coast Guard wants to remind boat drivers the harmful consequences of operating under the influence and to always have a designated driver. Wearing your life jackets and being aware of your water surroundings are also at the top of the list of safety precautions out on the water. For popular locations such as Kaneohe's sandbar, boaters need to be aware of the swimmers that are near boating waters.

"When you are approaching the sandbar with people in the water, either turn off your propellers or be very aware of the people near them," said Lieutenant JG, Ekhi Arzac.

A problem that the Coast Guard has experienced during holidays with fireworks is boaters using flares for fireworks. It is dangerous and the penalties with using flares during a non-emergency situation are hefty and could lead to jail time.

"Fourth of July is obviously a big day for fireworks; make sure that you are not using flares as fireworks. Every time a flare is shot off, the coast guard must respond to it. It costs the taxpayers money and resources that are spent out there searching for somebody that is not in distress," said Petty Officer, Amy Petersen.

When going offshore, having a float plan is also highly recommended during the weekend.

"Make sure that they have a float plan. That is where you tell someone where you are going and when you are coming back so that if something where to happen to you and you don't come back in time, someone can call the coast guard," said Petersen.

Copyright 2010 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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