The Maine Marine Patrol provides the following reminders for a safe, enjoyable experience on Maine’s coastal waters:
-In Maine, all children ten and under must wear a life jacket. Adults don’t have to wear them, but they must be available on board for every occupant.
-Safe boaters should also have working navigation lights, visual distress signals, sound signaling devices, VHF radio, cell phone, proper ventilation, and properly displayed registration numbers.
-A thorough check of fire extinguishers and flares should be done to make sure they work.
-Boaters should file a float plan with a friend or relative, notifying them of whereabouts and estimated return.
-Always check the local marine forecast before heading out on Maine’s coastal waters.
-With current ocean temperatures in many places less than 50 degrees, paddlers and boaters on small sailing vessels should dress for the water temperature and consider wearing a dry suit or a wet suit.
In addition, the following guidance to prevent the spread of coronavirus applies to recreational boating activities:
-Stay at least 6-feet away from others on the water, on the boat, and on land.
-No recreational boat should have a group of more than ten people on board.
-Don’t share equipment.
-Avoid using boat ramps and docks while other people are on them.
-When launching and loading a boat, give the people ahead in line plenty of time and space to finish launching or loading before approaching.
-After fueling, wash hands with soap and water or, if soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
-Do not touch eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
-Sanitize equipment with EPA registered products after each trip, paying particular attention to high-touch surfaces (handholds & grab bars, rails, hatch latches & lids, and coolers).
If planning to take part in a guided boat or fishing trip, COVID-19 prevention guidance for those businesses, in the form of checklists, can be found at bit.ly/2zj1MrL.
More information on Maine’s COVID-19 response can be found at maine.gov/covid19.