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US Coast Guard Safety Tips for National Boating Safety Week

NEW HAVEN - “Sailing is the life. Your higher power, your god, that’s where I find him,” said Kerry Lange.

Lange grew up on the sea. He’s been sailing his whole life even serving in the US Coast Guard.

He spent the winter working on his boat with his son adding a new cockpit, fresh wax, and paint, but, along with the new, remain the old.

"I bring my jackets enough for who I have on board. I have radar. I have GPS and I have the old fashion way of my charts and I have my compass," said Lange.

Safety gear is the first thing the US Coast Guard says to bring on every trip. Connecticut State Law requires you to bring a life jacket on board every ride.

"We recommended somebody always wear a jacket because once you fall in the water, it’s almost impossible to put a life jacket on,” said Lt. Aliana Fagan

In addition to life vests, the Coast Guard advises you bring a waterproof radio, file a float plan so somebody is aware of your travels and check the weather.

"Weather can change on a dime even if it’s not forecasted so always have a plan when you’re going out. Don’t go out alone," said Lt. Fagan.

The Coast Guard advises that before you go out to get a vessel identification sticker to label lifejackets, rowboats, canoes, and kayak or anything else you may lose on a trip to identify you.

"We urge everyone to label their paddle craft," said Lt. Fagan. "Either you can get an "If Found" sticker which you can get any Coast Guard auxiliary or Coast Guard unit nearby. We also distributed them to local retailers."

Labeling your items also prevents any false alarms that may put others at risk in a search.

The US Coast Guard provides a useful app that you can use to request a safety check, view state boating laws, and report suspicious activity or hazards.

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