By Jay Lloyd
CAPE MAY, N.J., (CBS) — As new summer pleasure boaters take to the busy area waterways, there’s often confusion about when an unplanned situation is an emergency or merely an annoyance.
So, you’re sailing or motoring along on calm waters and suddenly the boat lurches forward and stops. You’re stuck in the mud and tempted to call the Coast Guard. But what is a true emergency?
“Life or death.”
Or the danger of property damage notes Linda Skvarla, an officer with the Coast Guard Auxiliary. Fellow officer, Martin Blumenthal notes another common but non-emergency problem.
“Running out of fuel,” says Blumenthal.
The role of the Coast Guard is saving lives. It is not the AAA. Emergencies that will bring an immediate Coast Guard response include a fire on board, man overboard, injury, a boat taking on water, disabled in a shipping channel or in danger of breaking up. Non- life threatening situations are handled by commercial towing services. Buy insurance and call them on channel 16.