U.S. Coast Guard reminds boaters to be safe during holiday weekend

HUNTINGTON, W.Va-– Memorial Day Weekend kick starts summer and many West Virginians will be looking for ways to beat the heat.

Though West Virginia’s rivers have been high due to rain in and around the state, that will not stop many from heading out to boat throughout the holiday weekend. However, with an influx of people taking to the water, more accidents could be possible.

The Ohio River is a popular place for boaters to visit.

Coast Guard Dimitri Georgoulopoulos says Memorial Day Weekend sees an influx of boaters.

“It’s supposed to be a beautiful weekend this weekend, and the weather is supposed to be nice,” he said. This will lead to more boaters on West Virginia’s waters, and the Coast Guard wants to remind those boaters to be careful.

While there is an increase in boaters, the Coast Guard will not necessarily have more employees out on the water, too.

“It usually depends on our operations,” Georgoulopoulos. “Since there is going to be a lot more public activity going on, we will have an eye out there. If we have to have a boat on the way, we will just to make sure people are keeping safe.”

While Memorial Day can be a fun time to celebrate, boaters need to be responsible to prevent accidents from occurring.

“We want to make sure the public knows that the best thing is for public safety,” Georgoulopoulos said. “Again, life jackets, having float plans, make sure you have flares on your vessel, life jackets for everybody on that vessel, make sure you keep an eye on the weather and, again, just being safe and smart.”

Story by Jordyn Johnson

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