SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5/KCBS/CBS SF) — Across the Bay Area, as more people flock to the water for Labor Day, Coast Guard officials are reminding folks about water safety.
Always exercise caution — whether you’re on the water, or in the water. Sailors venturing out onto the San Francisco Bay should be prepared, and beachgoers should be mindful of water conditions.
A 40-year-old man wearing a life vest floating face down was pulled from the water Sunday at Aquatic Beach. He remains in critical condition.
On Saturday, a group of Sea Scouts ended up in the frigid water after their catamaran capsized near Aquatic Park. They were treated for bruises and scratches at a nearby hospital.
That same day, a 4-year-old boy was tragically struck and killed by a boat on Lake Arrowhead.
Last week, fifteen people and a dog were rescued when their 50-foot fishing boat ran aground and hit some rocks near the Golden Gate Bridge.
“It’s important to remember in the U.S. each year, hundreds of lives are lost and even more injured as a direct result of preventable recreational boating accidents,” says SF Fire Department spokesperson Jonathan Baxter.
He says always wear a safety vest, but don’t expect it to provide total protection.
In fact, the man who floated up unconscious at Aquatic Park was wearing a vest.
Baxter says really good advice is to tell someone that you’re heading out on the bay and when you’re planning to return.
“Call up somebody and say, ‘Hey I’m going to be going here and I plan on being there for an hour and then come back to this location,’ so people can make a mental note of ‘hey I haven’t heard from my friend.'”
The same advice applies to kayaking, wind surfing, and any other water activity.
Beachgoers should be cautious of rip currents, large shore breaks and cold water temperatures. They should only swim at beaches where trained lifeguards are stationed.