Boat/Water Safety Demonstration at Gunston Station

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

News Release 13-57
Date:  May 20, 2013

Firefighters from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Boat 420, and Fire and Rescue Station 20, Gunston, will offer boat and water safety demonstrations, Friday, May 24, 2013, at 11 a.m., at Pohick Bay Regional Park (boat ramp), 6501 Pohick Bay Drive, Lorton, Virginia. Firefighters will offer media representatives a short fireboat ride to show the life-saving capabilities of the watercraft and crew. Firefighters will also be hand to provide interviews on water safety.

The crew will begin safety patrol duties on the Potomac River and Mason Neck Area beginning today and Memorial Day weekend. The patrols will continue through September.

The National Safety Council recommends the following tips for recreational boaters:

  • Don't drink and boat. Boating while intoxicated is just as dangerous as drinking and driving. The "designated driver" system doesn't work in boating. Everyone is at risk because the boat's motion, coupled with alcohol, increases the chances of losing balance and falling overboard.
  • Everyone on the boat should wear a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device (PFD) or life jacket. A PFD is the best protection against drowning.
  • Check the weather and water conditions before leaving the shore. If it looks like storms are brewing or the water is very choppy, wait for another day to go boating.
  • Limit the number of passengers in a small boat. Don't exceed the limit allowed by the boat's capacity plate. Keep in mind the size and weight of each person--equal distribution of weight will limit the possibility of capsizing.
  • Have visual distress devices approved by the Coast Guard on board. Pyrotechnic red flares, orange smoke, orange distress flags, and electric distress lights must be in good working order and easily accessible.
  • Use the "one-third rule" in fuel management. Use one-third of the fuel to go, one-third to get back, and keep one-third in reserve.
  • Always tell someone where you will be boating, when you will be back, what your boat looks like, and other identifying information.

Recreational boating is second only to highway transportation in the number of fatalities that occur each year. Alcohol is involved in most of these accidents.

To ensure that you are following safe boating procedures, sign-up for a boating safety course near your home.

For more information on this or other safety issues, please contact Public Affairs and Life Safety Education at 703-246-3801 or TTY 711.

Always remember: Boating and booze don't mix!

For more information, call Daniel L. Schmidt or Captain I Randal Bittinger,
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, 703-246-3801 and TTY: 711.
Duty PIO (Weekends/After-hours): 703-877-3702
Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in all county programs,
services and activities. Reasonable accommodations will be provided upon request.
4100 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030

Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
Technical Questions: Web Administrator

ADA Accessibility | Website Accessibility
Awards | FOIA | Mobile | Using this Site | Web Disclaimer & Privacy Policy | Get Adobe Reader
Official site of the County of Fairfax, Virginia, © Copyright 2015

Website Feedback Website Feedback    Globe with various flags representing Web site language translations   Language Translations

Return to Graphic Version