SEATTLE – This weekend is Seafair and we want everyone to have fun and stay safe while on the water. Here are some tips on how to do so:
- Ensure your boat has a working smoke alarm. Test alarms monthly.
- Have a U.S. Coast Guard approved fire extinguisher on board and know how to use it. Mount the extinguisher near an exit to prevent being trapped.
- Dispose of oily rags in a metal container with a tight-fitting lid.
- Fuel portable tanks on the dock, not on your vessel.
- State law requires personal flotation devices for each person aboard a vessel.
- Never swim in or near marinas, docks or boatyards.
- Have your boat inspected by a certified electrician.
- Boats with AC systems should have isolation transformers or equipment leakage circuit interrupter protection.
- Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning while boating:
- Gas vapors will accumulate in low spots – before fueling, close all hatches, compartments and covers.
- After fueling, open everything up and ventilate.
- Swim and play away from areas where engines vent their exhaust.
- Educate all passengers about the signs and symptoms of CO poisoning (irritated eyes, headache, nausea, dizziness).
- Never block exhaust outlets. Blocking outlets can cause CO to build up in the cabin and cockpit areas – even when hatches, windows, portholes, and doors are closed.
- Dock, beach, or anchor at least 20-feet away from the nearest boat that is running a generator or engine. Exhaust from a nearby vessel can send CO into the cabin and cockpit of a boat.
- The safest decision may be to not enter the water. Think about the risks when swimming.
- Wear a lifejacket. Infants and children should always wear lifejackets when in or near open water. Air filled or foam toys, are not a substitute for wearing a U.S. Coast Guard approved lifejacket.
- Learn to swim, including water safety and survival skills. Learn to float and tread water for at least 10 minutes. It’s good to improve skills in a pool before hitting open water.
- Drowning often happens when inexperienced or weaker swimmers try to keep up with more experienced ones. Have conversations with your children and teens about swimming risks.
- Supervise children in or near water. Always stay within touching distance of young children.
- Do not use alcohol or drugs during water activities.
- Learn first aid and CPR
- If you have an emergency, call 911
Seattle Fire will also be staffing extra units throughout the weekend in case anyone needs help. We will be providing fire suppression services, marine and water rescue services, and emergency medical services (EMS) for this event.
- Fire suppression: Two engine companies will be staffed in the Stan Sayres pits for when the hydro planes and boats refuel.
- Marine and Water Rescue: Fireboat Chief Seattle will be out on the water to help with any boating issues. There will also be rescue swimmers on a Boeing Fireboat, rescue swimmers staged onshore, and Seattle Firefighter/Medics on the Seattle Police Harbor Patrol Boat.
- EMS: Firefighter/Medics will be staffing bikes and a medic unit around Genesee Park
Photo courtesy of John Odegard