Reader Shares Tips for Boaters

Dear editor,

In reference to the story “Thousands Search…” ( about the missing boater from late December off Plum Point: There are many things that every boater can learn from this tragic story.

Having and executing a robust cold-water safety system can make boating safer and more enjoyable. 

First, have a competent companion aboard. Another option is to have a buddy system of boats on the water.

If not possible, at least use an electronic kill switch. It’s a small fob you have on your person so in case you fall overboard the engine is turned off. I also like to wear a small waterproof VFH radio while out in the winter and spring. It’s a good backup to have. 

Third, at the very least wear a PFD. Shock can hit any person and make swimming short distances impossible. Even better—wear a float coat. They have floatation as well as thermal capabilities. In the 40-degree water, a person will die in an hour. Having some clothing designed to help you extend that time, can help save your life. 

Last, have a set of dry warm cloths aboard and a space blanket. 

All of these things add up to help you stay safe and fish the winter and spring safely. 

Thank you for your time and I hope this can help boaters. 

–Thomas Guarino