STURGEON BAY, Wis (WFRV) – It’s a busy boating weekend, and the coast guard is reminding people to be careful out on the water. U.S. Coast Guard’s Kevin Osgood says there will be thousands of boats on the water for Memorial Day weekend.

“First big weekend of the season, Memorial Day weekend, there will be a lot of boat traffic all over northeast Wisconsin,” stated Osgood.

Osgood has served with the Auxiliary Coast Guard for five years and encourages boaters to cruise with caution. 

“What we’re doing is just trying to help boaters out ahead of time and make sure they have everything that they’re required to have on their boats before they get out for the weekend. The three main causes of boating accidents are alcohol, not keeping a proper lookout, and speed,” explained Osgood. 

 Osgood says using items that attract attention to your boat will be useful.  

 “Fire extinguishers, signaling devices, whether it’s an orange flag you use in the day time to signal that you’re having a problem or flares for night time and now there’s an electronic strobe light, those are all ways that you can signal you need help and other boaters will hopefully recognize that and come to your assistance or it’ll help the coast guard or rescue vessel find you,” stated Osgood. 

There are more than 70,000 boaters in the state. Osgood says planning for the worst will make your experience the best. 

“Every boater should take this seriously because none of us have gills; we are designed to breathe oxygen and be above water, so wear the life jacket, have a plan, and have a discussion before you leave the dock with your family and friends,” said Osgood. 

Osgood recommends that the captain of your ship remains sober while driving.