LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- As boating season kicks off with the start of the Memorial Day weekend, the Coast Guard Lt. David Kveton sat down with WDRB Mornings with some safety tips

Kveton, who is in the enforcement division of the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley, said situational awareness should be top of mind for boaters on the water at all times. 

"Making sure you're aware of your surroundings, you're aware of the areas that you're out there in when you're trying to have a good time on the water this weekend," Kveton said. 

Before you cast off, it's important to make sure you have all of the necessary equipment to stay safe. 

"There is safety equipment that the Coast Guard does require each boater to have, which would include life jackets" for each person on board," Kveton said.

And it's important to make sure those life jackets fit properly.  Any children under the age of 18 must wear a life jacket at all times. 

"A lot of accidents that happen that do result in deaths are due to not having life jackets on or not wearing them properly, or them not fitting properly," Kveton said.

One way to learn to stay safe on the water is to join the Coast Guard's volunteer program. 

"It's called the Coast Guard Auxiliary, and what that is it's a volunteer force," Kveton said. "They have the same uniforms as we do. And one of their main missions is to conduct vessel inspections to ensure that recreational boaters have the proper safety equipment on board." 

Boaters that get in trouble on the water should get in touch with the Coast Guard as soon as possible.

"If they have radios on board, they can always contact us on channel 16," Kveton said. "We have our own command center that is like a dispatch, so they're available 24/7. And if you don't have a radio on board, you can always call 911."

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