SAN FRANCSICO (KRON) — Rising temperatures combined with the first day of summer just one month away means boaters are hitting the water. The U.S. Coast Guard is urging people to be responsible.

Saturday marks the start of National Safe Boating Week.

In order to prevent an emergency meet and greet with the U.S. Coast Guard and other first responders like the United States Maritime Administration is imploring boaters follow the laws before taking to the sea.

“You wouldn’t drink and a car, so don’t drink and drive a boat,” said Petty Officer Dylan Steiny of U.S. Coast Guard Station Golden Gate.

The Coast Guard says alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in deadly boating accidents, accounting for at least 18% of deaths.

“Always wear a life jacket,” Steiny said.

In 2020, the Coast Guard says 86% of drowning victims who died were not wearing a life jacket. Keep in mind, life jackets are required to be on all vessels, including kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards.

And, under federal law, life jackets have to be worn by anyone 13 years of age or younger.

“We like to live by the model Semper Paratus, and we found one of the best ways to avoid accidents is to be prepared before going out on the water,” Steiny said. “Check with the Coast Guard websites and weather prior to getting underway. Dress adequately for the weather and prepare at the dock because as soon as those boats they leave the dock, I mean, what’s on the boat is on the boat.”