Fireworks and Flares Can Cause Extra Problems for Boaters on 4th of July

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flare safety on july 4th

Flares should not be used as fireworks because they can be mistaken for a boat in distress.

In preparation of the upcoming Fourth of July weekend, the Coast Guard reminds boaters to take the proper precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend on the water. Boaters are reminded not to launch or use fireworks on board a vessel as fireworks can be mistaken as a sign of distress, needlessly attracting Coast Guard and other rescue resources. 

It is also important to not use safety flares as fireworks, as they are recognized as a signal of distress. It is a federal felony for anyone to knowingly and willfully communicate a false distress message to the Coast Guard or cause the Coast Guard to attempt to save lives and property when no help is needed. This includes, but is not limited to, firing flares in a non-distress situation and/or saying “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday” for a radio check.

It is recommended that boaters always wear a life jacket when underway. There should always be a life jacket on board for each person. Wearing a life jacket can greatly increase one’s chances of survival if an accident occurs or a boater goes overboard.

For more information on life jackets, visit the USCG Boating website.

Also, remember to always have a working marine VHF radio on board and let someone know where you are going and when you plan to be back. These simple measures go a long way to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable time on the water.

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