Annapolis Fire Department

Annapolis Fire Department Media Release

Fire Chief

David L. Stokes, Sr.

Contact Person:
Fire Inspector Ken White
Phone: 410-263-7975

Boating Safety

For Immediate Release
May 30, 2018

Annapolis, MD – As the weather continues to warm, sailing and sunshine will draw many residents and visitors to the City of Annapolis. “With the attraction to and,  access to water recreation in and around Annapolis City, we want the public to enjoy all the activities that our water ways has to offer but, safety should always remain a priority,” says Annapolis Fire Chief David L. Stokes Sr.

The Annapolis Fire Department urges all boaters to adhere to the following tips to keep you safe this summer season:


  1. Make sure your boat is well maintained. Have your boat checked by a qualified marine mechanic. Make sure your vessel is sea worthy and have the basic safety supplies on-board:
·         First Aid kit
·         Fire Extinguisher
·         Good Flashlight & Safety Flares
·         Life Jackets / Preservers (PFD’S) - check to ensure they fit and wear them. Consider an Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) or Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). If you are bringing a dog on board, rememeber not all dogs can swim.  Equip your dog with a pet life jacket and bring plenty of water for your dog. Walk your dog before boarding.
·         Cell phone and radio to monitor weather and make sure that all on board know the number to dial in case of emergency 9-1-1
·         Always check local weather conditions before leaving the dock. Check local weather if you notice darkening clouds, changing winds or sudden drops in temperature. When in doubt play it safe by getting off the water. 
  1. Have a float plan
·         Have a contact on shore; it can be a friend, a family member or the marina staff.  Tell them where you are going, the route you plan to take to get there, and when you expect to return. If you change plans, make sure to communicate that with your contact.
  1. Use Common Sense
  • Safety starts with common sense
  • Save the alcohol for later, never drink and operate a boat. The chance of being involved in a boating accident doubles when alcohol is involved.
  • Keep all body parts inside the boat, arms, legs, no bow riding.
  • Safety means operating at a safe speed at all times (especially in crowded areas). Stay alert at all times steering clear of large vessels and watercrafts. Remember large vessels are restricted in their ability to stop or turn quickly. Also, be respectful of buoys and other navigational aids, all of which have been placed there to ensure your own safety.
  • Make sure more than one person on board is familiar with all aspects of your boat’s handling and operations also make sure they are familiar with general boating safety. If the primary navigator is injured or incapacitated in any way, it’s important to make sure someone else can follow the proper boating safety rules to get everyone else back to shore safely.
  • Take safety precaution when fueling your boat. Follow the manufactures safety recommendations.  Each year countless people are burned in fires that result from unsafe fueling practices.
  1. Take a Boating Course
·         Regardless of your individual state's requirements, it's always important to be educated and prepared for every circumstance that might arise. You can learn boating safety rules by taking a local community course or online course to help educate yourself.
  1. Consider a Free Vessel Safety Check
·         Take advantage of a free vessel safety check from the US Coast Guard. They offer complimentary boat examinations to verify the presence and condition of certain safety equipment required by state and federal regulations. They will provide a specialist to check out your boat and make helpful boating safety tips and recommendations free of charge. They also offer virtual online safety checks as well.
  1. Learn CPR

·         Ensure at least one person on board is trained, and certified to perform CPR. Encourage children to learn CPR, it is something that will stay with them for a lifetime!  The Annapolis Fire Department offers CPR courses for all interested citizens.  For information about CPR certification, please email, or call the Emergency Medical Services Division at 410-263-7978.
As a reminder the Annapolis Fire Department accepts expired or surplus fireworks and flares from the general public for disposal. These may be dropped off at any Annapolis City fire station or Fire Headquarters on Forest drive. For more information please dial 410-263-7975.

End of release (Ken White #400)

Sail Safe
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