SOMERS POINT, N.J. (CBS) — While the weather won’t be the nicest this Memorial Day Weekend, the summer sun and heat will eventually return and so will people wanting to get out on the water. But the urge to get out on the water comes with some safety concerns.
“It looks really idyllic, everybody loves it,” George Polgar with Pier 3 Marina said. “I’m going to go out and get a boat.”READ MORE: 2 Atlantic City Councilmembers Request State Troopers Assist Police After Violent Weekend
Whether in Somers Point or the Penns Landing waterfront, there’s nothing quite like a hot day spent on a boat, but the good times can end very quickly.
“People see it in the movies and on TV and in ads and they say, ‘I’m going to do this,’ and then once you get out there, you tend to throw caution to the wind and you’re having a good time,” Polgar said.
So to keep the good times rolling, officials warn potential captains and passengers to prepare for the worst before you get out there.
“We’re really focused on people initially putting their boars in the water, making sure that they’re safe, they’re ready to operate, that they’re seaworthy,” U.S. Coast Guard Senior Chief Nathan Purinton said.READ MORE: 6 Day Workweeks And Poked By Needles: YaFavTrashman Fighting For Philadelphia Sanitation Workers' Safety
In terms of safety, seaworthy means having fire extinguishers, throwable floatation devices, and a life jacket for every passenger on board. People under 13 must wear their jackets at all times.
Purinton says the Coast Guard, which has jurisdiction over the waterways, will perform an inspection for you and when you’re out at sea, they can randomly inspect your boat. While you can have a drink or two, the legal limit for alcohol consumption on a boat is the same as if you’re in a car.
“.08. Everybody knows that’s the legal limit for operating a motor vehicle, and the same applies to the water,” Purinton said.
“There’s got to be at least one or two people on that boat who have their wits about them and didn’t drink,” Polgar said.MORE NEWS: Police: 2 Teens In Car Shot At Red Light In Philadelphia's Olney Neighborhood
Regardless of local laws, drugs like marijuana are not tolerated on boats. Waterways are governed by the federal government, and there’s no federal law permitting marijuana use.