National Safe Boating Week: How to remain safe from weather hazards on the water

Beyond The Forecast

(WFRV) – It is National Safe Boating Week and it is important here in Wisconsin because the weather can go from good to bad in the blink of an eye.

The National Weather Service is partnering with the National Safe Boating Council to promote safety on the water. When it comes to boating, it is best to be prepared for any type of weather.

Kurt Kotenberg is the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service here in Green Bay. He says, “Just spend 60 seconds scrolling through your… social medias. Just take 60 seconds to look at the weather forecast in the morning and be prepared ahead of time.” 

There are many weather hazards when it comes to boating.  

Fog is a big one. The best thing to do in fog is to slow down because visibility is low. Turn on your lights and listen for other boats that may be near you. 

More fog safety tips can be found through this link.

Dense Fog on our Skyview Cam back in 2019 in Sturgeon Bay

Thunderstorms can also be dangerous if you are out on the water, especially if you are stranded on the water.  Kotenberg emphasizes, “Say if you are in that situation the best thing is if you can…is get to shore as quickly and as safely as possible.” 

If you are out on the open water, you will want to stay low to avoid getting struck by lightning. Here are some more tip from the National Weather Service for thunderstorm safety.  

Lightning near Neenah in June 2017, courtesy: Brad Birkholz

Many people will be out on the water throughout this summer, so what is the best way to monitor the weather on the water with no cell service?

“We try to tell people to bring a NOAA Weather Radio (on the water) because sometimes your cellphone does not get any service, and it is one way to stay safe in case of any warnings.” 

Be prepared before you hit the water. Our Storm Team 5 App gives a quick hour-by-hour forecast that can help keep you safe before venturing out on the water. You can download our app here:

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