The National Weather Service has partnered with the National Safe Boating Council to help promote safe boating practices. During Safe Boating Week, NWS will disseminate a Public Information Statement and broadcast public service announcements on NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards. Find out what you should do before you go out in the water and while you are out. Help us promote safe boating by download and reprinting our free graphics and logos. Think you know enough about boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol? Check our link and be sure. You will also find links to marine forecasts, portals, educational material and related resources. If you, or someone you know, have been in a weather-related boating accident, please share your story so we can prevent others from becoming a victim. When you write, please note that NWS has permission to use your story and, if possible, let us know the town and state you were in and the year the event took place.
NWS issues various types of marine warnings, watches and alerts for mariners. It is vital to understand and follow these alerts.
To stay on top of all weather alerts, check weather.gov or your favorite weather site frequently.
Before you go out on the water, check the forecast at your local NWS coastal office. You should also check for the latest NWS buoy observations from theObservations from the National Data Buoy Center. You should also make sure your boat has essential, and in cases, required, safety equipment and communications tools.
Weather can make your time on the water wonderful or deadly. It is vital to know how to respond to fog, thunderstorms, rapid wind shifts and other dangerous weather.
Chances are when you are on the water you will occasionally encounter fog, making navigation a challenge. Because of the time it can take to stop or turn a marine vessel, fog is usually considered dense for mariners if it reduces visibility to less than 1 mile. Fog can form quickly and catch boaters off guard. Visibility can be reduced to a few feet, which can disorient even the most experienced boaters. The international standards for describing reduced visibility in marine forecasts are as follows:
Learning to navigate through fog (or avoiding it) is critical to safe boating. These safety tips will help to keep you safe:
A Dense Fog Advisory is issued by your local National Weather Service office when widespread dense fog develops. When this happens, visibilities frequently drop to one-quarter of a mile or less. These conditions make travel difficult. Take extra caution when on the road or avoid driving if possible.
A Freezing Fog Advisory is issued by your local National Weather Service office when fog develops and surface temperatures are at or below freezing. The tiny liquid droplets in the fog can freeze instantly to any surface, including vehicles and road surfaces. Freezing fog makes driving, boating, flying and other forms of transportation particularly hazardous. Visibilities are typically at or below 1 mile.
Before going boating, fishing, diving or enjoying other water sports, check the forecast from weather.gov or your favorite weather source..
If severe weather is predicted, stay home or go earlier than normal. Be prepared to head to shore quickly. Monitor storms via:
If you are caught out in a storm and can't get back in time, here's what do to: