Coast Guard Emphasizes Safety for San Diego's Parade of Lights Amid High Boat Traffic

Coast Guard Emphasizes Safety for San Diego's Parade of Lights Amid High Boat TrafficSource: San Diego Bay Parade of Lights
Ben J. Costas
Published on December 08, 2023

As San Diego gears up for its dazzling holiday Parade of Lights, the Coast Guard is sending a beacon of caution to all you captains and seafarers planning to join the festivity on the water this Sunday. With an influx of boats expected to crowd the harbor, authorities are stressing boater vigilance and the observance of safety measures to keep the event afloat without any mishaps.

Boat enthusiasts eager to take part in the aquatic display have been warned to never even think about operating their vessels under the influence of substances, a risk factor that's contributed to a staggering one-third of all recreational boating fatalities. The Coast Guard's public notice is clear: check your equipment, chart your course, and always let someone on shore know your itinerary before setting sail.

"San Diego’s holiday Parade of Lights highlights our community’s deep connection to the marine environment and those who operate on it," Captain Jim Spitler, Coast Guard Sector San Diego commander, spotlighted the communal spirit underlying this treasured annual spectacle. But he also underscored the need for prudence: "Due to the traffic diversity and density of this night event on the water, I want all involved to wear a life jacket, remain vigilant, and stay safe!"

The Coast Guard isn't just preaching; they're partnering with local agencies to ensure everyone stays on deck and dry. They're urging participants and bystanders to always keep an emergency communication device handy—a cellphone, satellite phone, or VHF radio. You will never know when you might need to call. Additionally, the Safe Boating Campaign reminds boaters to use an engine cut-off switch, which could be a literal lifesaver if you find yourself unintentionally overboard.