WANTAGH, N.Y. - U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Quigley said it has been a busy start to the boating season.
"Everyone's getting stir crazy and they're just ready to go out," he said. "It's almost like mid-summer on the weekends already."
The Coast Guard Station at Jones Beach patrols the waters from the East Rockaway Inlet to Fire Island. Because of COVID-19 and the social distancing restrictions on land, many people are taking to the water. But officials are reminding people the same rules apply.
"If you can't be within that six feet just have a mask on," Quigley said. "And just try to keep it with your immediate family
And checking safety gear is just as important, especially at the beginning of each season. This includes making sure all your lights and radios on your boat function and all your safety gear is in date and in good working order. Quigley also urged all boaters to wear a life jacket and have a designated driver for the boat.
The Coast Guard has an app with helpful information about safety regulations and weather. Boaters can also use it to report a hazard or devise a float plan that informs Coast Guard crews if they don't return to shore when they're supposed to.
You can also get more free boating safety resources here.