Memorial Day boating safety

NEW BUFFALO, Mich. --This week marks National Boating Safety Week across the country. Because of the holiday weekend, hundreds of people across Michiana will head to several marinas to put their boats in the lake.

ABC 57 News spoke with three boaters who together have over 50 years of boating experience and they shared some safety advice.

“Never boat alone,” says Matt Brennan, a boat owner in New Buffalo.

He says he learned that lesson after he rescued another boater who capsized. The boater made a turn too sharp and right away, Brennan knew the man was in trouble.

Brennan rescued the man, took him back to his boat and returned him to his family.

This rescue story comes with a broader lesson to make sure a friend is always nearby.

“We use a buddy boat system. So if something happens, one of us can tow us back in," Joe Mammolenti, a boat owner.

Mammolenti says he's pulled quite a few boats in.

It's also important to drive sober.

“We go out and we make sure that we don’t get too close to anyone, we usually go to our own spot. We don’t drink and boat at the same time when we’re captaining and we just kind of take it easy," says Mammonlenti.

Also, the Coast Guard will be out in full force this weekend so if you have a safety question, they will answer it for you.

“A lot of times what we’ll do is we’ll wave the Coast Guard on board to make sure we have the flares, the proper amount of life jackets, make sure we have a fire extinguisher and make sure it’s charged. They’ll do that as a safety check,” says John Hengen, a boat owner.

Here's what you're required to have on your boat: three flares, one life jacket per person and it must fit, one throwable and one audible signaling device.

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