U.S. Coast Guard officials in Alaska are asking mariners to remember to clean off buildup of snow and ice from moored vessels, which could cause stability risk and potential sinking, damage and pollution if left unattended.
While out on the water in the winter, mariners should wear proper personal protective equipment such as a life jacket. Mariners should also conduct regular vessel cheks and update owner information with the harbor or marina.
“Ice and snow can clog cockpit drains causing additional weight loads that can push the waterline over scuppers and through hulls,” said Michael Folkerts, boating safety specialist for the 17th Coast Guard District. “A common cause of harbor sinkings are frozen and subsequently cracked through hulls and failed fittings. Winter conditions can be rough on boats, and boaters need to take extra precautions.”