Preparing For Another Boating Season From Lake Winnipesaukee To The Seacoast

The ice is gone and the warm weather has arrived, which means summer is coming. And to get ready for the boating season there are a few preparations Marine Patrol is making to do just that.

“We do a bunch of different things,” said Sgt. Crystal McLain, at the Marine Patrol facility in Glendale.

The preparations begin with training the new recruits. This year there are 20 new officers coming into the Marine Patrol ranks, all of who are currently conducting on-the-water training.

The training entails everything from learning to dock a boat and other procedures to water rescues and boat stops. The idea is to prepare these recruits for anything and everything that can happen on the water.

McLain said by the time they are done with their training, all will be ready to hit the open water from Lake Winnipesaukee to the Seacoast.

The big push the department is undertaking across the state is the testing and inspection of commercial boats and those that operate them. Commercial boats cover a wide range of marine activities, which include marine construction, boat and fishing guides, and of course the commercial fishing.

McLain explained that this year the checks have taken on a slightly new approach. Because of the number of vessels across the state that need to undergo inspection and testing, the Marine Patrol is having operators bring their vessels to testing locations set up around the state instead of sending an officer out to them.

Here on Winnipesaukee the number of commercial operators is more than one might think.

“You never think about it until the numbers start coming in,” said McLain.

The other major preparation that differs from last year is the enactmentl of a boat speed limit this summer. McLain said the department is taking steps in order to be prepared.

While Motorcycle Week may act as the official start of the boating season, McLain said “there are quite a few boats out there.” The numbers of boats, whether they are fishermen, islanders, or construction companies, are pretty typical year to year though require a few patrols out on the Big Lake.

And for those recreational boaters venturing onto the recently thawed waters, safety on the big lake is key.

“Where there are not a lot of boats on the water, planning is essential,” said McLain.

First and foremost life jackets are a must, particularly with such a chilling water temperature, McLain explained. Other things, like checking the weather forecast, mapping out the trip, having an anchor, and bringing along a radio or cell phone are safety precautions recommended by Marine Patrol.

Marine Patrol officers will continue to prepare making sure markers are in the right places and everything is set of the season ahead.

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