On Tuesday, Santa Barbara firefighters, Harbor Patrol officers and U.S. Coast Guard personnel will participate in a joint training exercise outside the Santa Barbara Harbor in recognition of National Safe Boating Week.
Anticipated activities include mock rescues from both the breakwater and boats, utilizing Harbor Patrol vessels, the City Fire Department’s Water Rescue Team and (weather dependent) a Coast Guard helicopter.
This multi-agency training exercise highlights the cooperation among these groups in providing a rapid response to water-related emergencies.
Safe Boating Week is a great time to re-educate your family and loved ones about how to boat safely over the summer. Common tips include wearing a life jacket (mandatory for children under 13), taking a boating course and reading the ABCs of California Boating Law.
Always check the ocean weather before you leave port and file a float plan with friends or family. Finally, never boat under the influence; 16 percent percent of all boating fatalities nationwide are caused by drunken boaters.
— Gary Pitney is a captain for the Santa Barbara City Fire Department.