NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — On Tuesday, crews from the U.S. Coast Guard trained on how to rescue mariners in distress, and Eyewitness News was given a unique look at the work they do and the dangers they face to keep boaters safe.
The weather seemed perfect off the coast of Newport, but officers said there were still lingering effects on the water from Hurricane Joaquin.
“For the next couple days, there will still be long period swell from Hurricane Joaquin arriving,” said Petty Officer Ross Ruddell.
Guardsmen were seen propelling down onto the deck to simulate situations where a boater might get hurt in a storm and need to be airlifted from the water or need equipment brought to them on sea.
Ruddell said this time of year is when the Coast Guard gets the most calls.
“Right now we’re really in that transitional period, getting towards the end of hurricane season and the start of Nor’easter season,” he explained. “This is when people get in really serious trouble in really precarious situations.”
The Coast Guard urges boaters to wear life jackets, have a radio – not just a cell phone – as well as an emergent suit in case you have to jump in the chilly water.
“There’s always inherent danger in the ocean,” added Ruddell.
As always if you’re going out on a boat, you’re encouraged to check with the Coast Guard and the National Weather Service for the current conditions.