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National Safe Boating Week

Safe Boating 

National Safe Boating Council The following is a public service announcement for Safe Boating Week: Tuesday...
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...Safe Navigation in Fog...

The following is a safe boating message from the National Safe Boating Council and the National Weather Service.

Chances are that when you are on the water, you will at least occasionally encounter reduced visibility in fog, and you will need to know how to navigate through it safely. Fog forms when air over a warm water surface is transported over a colder water surface, resulting in cooling and condensation. Fog is usually considered dense if it reduces visibility to less than one mile. It can form quickly and catch boaters off guard. Visibility can be reduced to a few feet, disorienting boaters. Learning to navigate through fog (or avoiding it) is critical to safe boating.

If you encounter fog, navigate at a slower than normal speed. Slowing down will help you avoid collisions.

Turn on all of your running lights, even in daytime.

Listen for sounds of other boats that may be near you, or for fog horns and bells from nearby buoys.

VHF NOAA Weather Radio should broadcast important information concerning the formation, movement or dissipation of the fog. Pay close attention.

If your vessel has radar, it can be used to help you locate dangers that may be around you.

Use GPS or a navigation chart to help obtain a fix on your location. If you are unable to get your bearings, stay put until the fog lifts but make sure you are in a safe location.

Be familiar with horn and bell sounds that should be produced to warn others around you when in dense fog.

Have a compass available. Even if you dont know where you are in the fog, with a compass you can determine the direction you are navigating.

This message was brought to you by the National Weather Service and the National Safe Boating Council. Visit the National Weather Service on the web at and the National Safe Boating Council at

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National Weather Service
Office of Climate, Weather, and Water Services
Marine and Coastal Weather Services Branch (W/OS21)
Last modified: April 23, 2015
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