USCG Safety Alert



SLOW DOWN, LOOK AROUND AND BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS WHEN TRANSITING NEAR LAUNCH AREAS


USCGSA_0822
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While transiting a mixed-use waterway, a motor vessel capsized a kayak in its wake, jettisoning the kayaker into the water. This incident occurred near a known kayak launch and was the third such event within a short time span. In the most recent case, the motor vessel’s operator failed to see the kayaker in the water while traveling at 16 knots with clear visibility.


Boat launch areas facilitate access to the nation’s waterways and it is vitally important that all boaters exercise caution in these areas.


To ensure the safety of all waterway users, the Coast Guard offers the following reminders:

  • Local authorities should consider enactingspeed limits near boat launches and placebuoy markers for those speed zones.

  • All vessels are responsible for their wakesand operators should consider reducingheadway to avoid negatively impactingactivities, docks, wildlife, shorelines, andsmaller craft (e.g., fishing boats, canoes,paddleboards, and kayaks).

  • The Navigation Rules require all vessels tooperate at safe speed for the conditions.

  • The Navigation Rules require all vessels to maintain a proper lookout at all times by sightand hearing. If additional personnel on the vessel are available, assign them to assist aslookouts to identify potential hazards including other vessels and persons in the water.

  • Motorized vessels should render assistance as they are capable and without endangeringtheir own vessel and crew or others.

This Safety Alert is provided for informational purposes only and does not relieve any domestic or international safety, operational, or material requirement. Developed by the Investigators of Sector Corpus Christi and distributed by the Office of Investigations and Analysis. Questions may be sent to HQS-SMB-CG-INV@uscg.mil.

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