The Connecticut shoreline is busiest on holidays and weekends, and Niantic Firefighter Wich Haylon says this 4th of July weekend, will be no exception.
“Going into the holiday weekend, we’re ready to keep everybody safe and respond as fast as we can to calls,” said Haylon. “A lot of people will be coming into town. The water will be very occupied, the launches will be occupied, the roads will be occupied.”
Haylon, who has served in Niantic for 12 years, says the water can be dangerous. His department is expecting to receive about 20 calls a day responding to incidents both on and off the water.
“We can run into all kinds of situations, from people running out of gas, people that are in distress, boat on fire, someone having a medical emergency,” he said.
But there are steps you can take to stay safe, beyond wearing a life jacket.
“Tell someone who’s on land what the plan is in case they don’t return, someone can go look for them and call the proper authorities.”
Noting water conditions before going out, is also important. “Know your limits, if the water is too rough don’t go out on the water,” Haylon said. “Also stay sober people on boats should stay sober and just use common sense!”
Haylon said the staying sober part is a big one when you’re on the water.
“Same thing on the road driving a car, it just it impairs your judgment.”