As the weather continues to warm, sailing and sunshine draw many residents and visitors to Annapolis’ public and private sailing locales.  According to Annapolis Fire Chief David Stokes, “It can be very challenging to respond to emergencies out on the water. A small amount of preparation and prevention are invaluable.”

The Annapolis Fire Department urges all boaters to adhere to the following tips to keep you safe this summer season:

  • Ensure age-appropriate and Coast Guard-approved life jackets are on board and that everyone knows how to use them.
  • In addition to life jackets, have throwable floatation devices such as ring buoys, seat cushions and horseshoe buoys.
  • Always check the weather before sailing and leave a route plan with someone on the shore so they know where you will be going.
  • Assign someone on your boat to be skipper, who knows how to operate and navigate the boat in case you are injured or become incapacitated.
  • If you are bringing a dog on board, remember that not all dogs can swim. Equip your dog with a pet life jacket. Bring plenty of water for your dog and walk your dog before boarding.
  • Make sure everyone knows the emergency number to call… 911.
  • Ensure an adult supervising knows CPR. Have children learn CPR. It will be something that will stay with them for a lifetime!  The Annapolis Fire Department offers CPR courses for all interested citizens. For information about CPR certification, please email, or call the Emergency Medical Services Division at 410-263-7978.
  • Ensure there is a fire extinguisher and first aid kit on board.

Thank you for making water safety a priority. The Annapolis Fire Department wishes everyone a safe summer season!