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Boating safety tips from U.S. Coast Guard Marquette Station

Boaters and swimmers are advised to be aware of their surroundings and to be aware of rip currents in Lake Superior
Published: May. 27, 2022 at 5:18 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Lots of people in the U.P. and across the country are celebrating the unofficial start to summer. While everyone is planning to enjoy themselves, the Coast Guard station in Marquette is giving tips on how to be safe on the water.

Station members like Cheyenne Basurto said communication is key.

“Make sure somebody on land knows where you’re going, knows when you’re going, and knows how long you’re going to be gone. Make sure you know the weather ahead of time,” said Basurto.

Boaters are also advised to know how much gas is in the vessel before departing. In addition, Petty Officer Third Class Mckenna Shook reminds everyone that it is illegal to drink while driving a boat.

“Have fun, but limit yourself. If you want to drink, have someone else drive,” Shook said. “Sober up and have some water on you.”

All of these tips were shared during the station’s open house on Friday, where coast guard members discussed what they do. Marquette City Police and NMU Public Safety were among other groups at the event.

Pictured Rocks park rangers, like Joseph Hughes, were also present. He says everyone needs to be aware of any rip currents in Lake Superior.

“Check on the weather, and not just the weather app on your phone but the actual marine weather,” Hughes said. “What are the currents doing, what are the winds doing, and making a plan accordingly.”

If you are caught in a rip current, remember to stay calm and swim parallel to the shore. Basurto also says lookout for anything unexpected.

“Boaters and swimmers should always be aware of their surroundings. Of other vessels, of any objects in the water, either a rock or a tree, or a buoy even,” Basurto said.

The Coast Guard and the National Park Service also want to remind everyone about the number one rule when going out onto the water: always wear a life vest.

To find out how to come up with a safety plan as well as report suspicious activity, download the U.S. Coast Guard mobile app.

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