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Safety first for Memorial day boating in San Diego

As the long weekend quickly approaches, San Diego residents and visitors are looking forward to a relaxing weekend on the beach or out on the water. In preparation, the United States Coast Guard is reminding California residents of some important safety measures to take over the holiday weekend. 

Life vests, obviously, are the most important part of boating safety. The law requires that boats have one appropriately sized life vest for each passenger on the boat so that everyone will have a floatation device in the event of an emergency. 

"A majority of boating deaths occur to people who drown and they aren't wearing life vests so we really want to stress this," said a Coast Guard representative.

In addition, the Coast Guard is offering free boat inspections this week to make sure that boats are safe for use and that there are no mechanical or structural defects that could turn a nice afternoon on the water into an emergency.

Just like homeowners, boat owners are responsible for keeping the vehicle safe for use when they invite friends and family out on the water. If they do not, they may be held liable if someone is injured or killed.

Likewise, boat owners and operators are responsible for the safety of passengers in general which means that they must use appropriate care when driving the boat, avoiding obstacles and hazards and being sensitive to bad weather conditions that could cause a boating accident. On a long holiday weekend, boat operators would also be careful not to drive their boats while intoxicated, which is against the law just like drunk driving of a car.

Source: CBS 8, "Coast Guard kicks off 'National Safe Boating Week'" May 17, 2013. 

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