are responsible for your actions, and those of your
passengers. Learn the proper safety procedures to
minimize the chance of accidents.
In all cases
of a life threatening nature, a boater should instruct
everyone to wear a life jacket and call the Coast Guard-
"Mayday, Mayday, Mayday" on VHF channel 16
(the international distress frequency channel), stating
their VESSEL NAME, LOCATION, NATURE OF DISTRESS AND
NUMBER OF PEOPLE ON BOARD (POB), Remain on VHF
Channel 16, until instructed by the Coast Guard
to take other actions. Repeat your call as necessary.
you have run out of gas, have a dead battery, engine
problems and are not in any immediate danger, you can
call for assistance on VHF Channel 09 to either the
Coast Guard or someone who can offer you assistance. If
you have a contract with a professional marine
assistance company, you may call them directly.
DEP Environmental Conservation Police vessels on patrol
monitor Coast Guard frequencies and may respond to
emergency or non-emergency situations. Also, you may
accept help from a fellow mariner, local police or other
agency. While good Samaritans are well meaning, they may
not have the skills or knowledge to assist you
Towing is the act of taking a disabled vessel from one
place to another when that vessel is not in any peril or
immediate danger. This is usually a non-emergency case.
When selecting a commercial marine assistance provider,
make sure they are properly licensed, insured and have
the proper equipment. No one may charge for a tow if the
U.S. Coast Guard does not properly license him or her.
Having a contract or membership with a commercial
provider can save significant sums of money. In any
case, try to obtain the hourly charges or a total cost
prior to agreeing to any assistance.
Most boating fatalities are the results of capsizing or
falls overboard. Non-fatal boating accidents are usually
the results of a collision with another boat or an
object in the water, such as rocks, pilings, or debris.
Knowledge, a good lookout, common sense and courtesy
could prevent most accidents.
boating facilities occur in small open boats on small
inland bodies of water in mid to late afternoon, on
weekends during the summer. The weather is normally
good, with calm winds and water and good visibilities.
Approximately 90 percent of the fatalities are the
result of drowning. The vast majority of those who die
in boating accidents are not wearing a life jacket. Most
accidents, capsizing, falls overboard and collisions are
sudden and unexpected. Your life jacket could save your
life, but only if you have it on. Make a habit of
Boating, Alcohol and Drugs
person may operate a vessel on the waters of Connecticut
while intoxicated or while his/her ability is impaired
by the consumption of alcohol or the use of drugs.
On the water
or on land, alcohol, even in small amounts, will affect
one's ability to function in three critical areas. A
person's balance, coordination and judgment are all in
jeopardy when alcohol is consumed. In addition,
stressors which fatigue and slow one's reaction time
such as heat, glare, engine noise, vibration and the
boats motion through the water, when combined with
alcohol, can be deadly.
overboard or capsizing causes most boating fatalities. A
boat is an unstable platform even in calm water. After
having a few drinks, a person may be able to regain his
balance on land easily, but in a moving boat any
movement to compensate for being unbalanced will only
serve to upset the boat.
decrease a person's coordination. Simple tasks such as
climbing a ladder to the flying bridge or reaching for a
pair of sunglasses on the other side of the dash may
become more difficult. More importantly, when a person
who has been drinking is immersed in water, it is harder
to swim or even don a life jacket. Alcohol will
intensify the disorientation a person experiences when
water enters the ear. Many good swimmers have drowned
because the alcohol they consumed had distorted their
ability to orient themselves in the water and caused
them to swim down instead of to the surface.
popular belief, alcohol isn't digested like food, but is
absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the
stomach walls. Food in your stomach slows down alcohol
absorption, but the final amount of absorption is the
same. The liver burns or oxidizes alcohol out of your
body at a steady rate. If you drink faster than the
alcohol can be burned, there will be a greater
level of alcohol in your blood. Blood alcohol content (BAC)
may be estimated by referring to the Blood Alcohol
Boaters must be cautious and constantly aware of
surroundings. It is now illegal to stop or anchor
beneath bridges. Secure and lock your boat when not
on-board and, when stored, disable the engine. Avoid
restricted areas such as dams, power plants, etc. and
observe all security zones, especially around military
Naval Vessel Protection Zone
stay at least 100 yards away from any military vessel
and maintain minimum steerage speed within 500 yards.
Violators face quick and severe response, not more than
6 years in prison and not more than a $250,000 fine.
report the following to the U.S. Coast Guard
persons conducting unusual activities near security
areas, bridges and near water.
establishing roadside stands near marinas and waterfront
persons photographing or creating diagrams around power
plants, under bridges, waterfront favilitys or any other
high risk area.
suspicious persons loitering around waterfront areas.
*Suspicious persons attempting to borrow or rent
*Suspicious vendors attempting to sell or deliver
merchandise or drop off packages in waterfront areas.
Safety and Security Zones
Boaters should not:
buoyed areas off the Niantic Bay or Jordan Cove side of
Dominion/Millstone Power Plant, Waterford, CT.
waters within 100 yards of any anchored U.S. Coast Guard
anchor or loiter beneath a bridge foundation, support,
stanchion, pier or abutment except as required for the
direct, expeditious transit beneath a bridge.