BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – If you’re planning on heading out on the water this weekend, The Coast Guard is passing along tips for boater safety for the Fourth of July holiday.
Solomon Lockhart has seen the waterfront grow during his two-year tenure stationed in Buffalo. He says he doesn’t run into *more* problems over the holiday weekend, but with more people on the water now, being safe is a top priority.
He said, “Always wear life jackets regardless if you’re a good swimmer. We always do, the Coast Guard is very proud knowing we’re always safe. We try to promote the same.”
His crews will be scouting for anyone celebrating with alcohol and choosing to get behind the wheel of a boat. Lockhart said, “What not to do when you’re operating a boat: drink alcohol. It’s just as dangerous as when you’re driving on the road. Most boaters are not as experienced as they are driving a car, so you’re not going to know what to do in certain situations.”
And Lockhart says .08 while driving a boat will feel much stronger than when you’re behind the wheel of a car: but the punishment for drinking and boating is the same.
He said, “It’s the same rules, it’s the same fines, seizure of your vessel, possible jail time, and you might not be allowed on the water again if we see you.”
This weekend, local leaders will join forces to keep the water a safe place to be. He said, “If you see anything suspicious or you think someone is boating under the influence, call your local authorities, call us. We’re out here on the water its the same team same fight.”