0530 focus boats 3

WARREN DILLAWAY | STAR BEACON

A boat returns to dock in Conneaut Harbor in late May.

Boating is a recreational pursuit that can be enjoyed within the framework of social distancing, according to area experts.

The season seems to be moving along well, according to area marinas and Coast Guard officials at the Fairport Harbor station.

"The season is pretty typical," said U.S. Coast Guard Boatswain Mate 2 Joseph Tingley.

He said once the weather got warm enough people began launching boats.

"We were seeing boats out in March," he said.

Tingley said normal boat traffic occurred once the chilly May and early June temperatures lifted. He said there has been only one major rescue operation that ended with the loss of two boaters in early June.

Launch ramps have been busy from Geneva to Conneaut as people seek to get out of the house and enjoy the great outdoors. The water temperature is still somewhat cool at 64.6 degrees.

As the July 4 weekend nears, Tingley said it is important to make sure boaters have the proper gear on hand.

"I would advise people to wear life jackets and boat sober and pay attention to the weather," he said.

Tingley said one of the best ways to determine weather patterns is to use the NOAA website and click on the area you intend to boat from.

He said it is also important to have a variety of supplies for the summer boating experience.

"Make sure you have sun block, sunscreen, OFF for the bugs and lot of water," Tingley said.

The U.S. Coast Fairport Harbor Facebook page also urges people to social distance and wear proper clothing when boating in cold water. The Facebook page also urges all boaters to maintain maintenance on their vessels and make sure their is plenty of gas in the tank.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Watercraft also patrols Lake Erie and area harbors. The ODNR website details lists of required equipment to operate a boat including life jackets, fire extinguishers and other important gear.

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