By Jay Lloyd
CAPE MAY, N.J. (CBS) — As boaters and guests start a new season on the water, I recently launched a safe boating week with some fellow US Coast Guard veterans.
We were at the USCG Training Center in Cape May. And these vets have seen it all -– especially when common sense goes out the window and trouble walks in the door.
Bill Gleason remembers the skipper who forgot to clear some gasoline fumes from his bilge before starting his engine.
“The boat blew up, and there was a girl sitting on top of the hatch when it went off,” he says.
Bob Dell remembers the distress call involving a fisherman who fell overboard without a life jacket.
“We went out,” he recalls ruefully. “We couldn’t find anybody.”
Jack Hennessey (second from left in top photo) recalled the rescue call for an overloaded 18-foot boat that was swamped. His crew rescued two men but the third was lost.
“They had three people on an 18-footer,” Hennessey notes. “They probably should have had two.”
And the all-too-common gaffe… Dick Doherty (third from left in top photo) says as a rescuer he fumed every time boaters ignored the fuel gauge.
“The fishing vessels that stayed because the fishing was good, and then they’re out of fuel,” exposing the boat to rising winds and building seas.
Don’t become a story that will fuel future conversations by US Coast Guard veterans. Boat sensibly.