TOLEDO, Ohio — The U.S. Coast Guard expects a lot of people will celebrate the Fourth of July holiday on the water and they want everyone to have fun but be safe as well.
"The biggest thing is we're trying to prevent search and rescue. We're a search and rescue unit, but we want to prevent those cases as much as possible," Seaman Landon Hicks of the U.S. Coast Guard said.
If you're going to be boating, you can expect to get pulled over and inspected to make sure you're following the rules on the water.
There are a few things the Coast Guard will make sure you have on board.
"One day flare, one night flare. You also need a fire extinguisher on board and the proper amount of life jackets. So, if you have ten people, you need ten life jackets. And a sound-producing device, so a horn would work or a whistle," Hicks said.
You should also have a flotation device you can throw in case someone goes in the water. According to the Coast Guard, you likely won't get fined if you are found without these items but you can get escorted back to dock.
However, if you are drinking or doing drugs while driving a boat you can get fined. Anyone on board can drink and the driver can as well as long as they are below the 0.08 limit.
The Coast Guard will hold operation dry water from July 5 to July 7 to crack down intoxication.
"Boating while impaired can cause accidents just like driving a car. You can also run yourself into the jetty or rocks or run aground in someplace where you shouldn't be," Seaman Devin Merritt said.
The Coast Guard wants to remind everyone to have a float plan before setting off, so make sure to tell someone where you're going and make sure your cellphone is fully charged.