NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Boaters can expect big crowds for the last of the big summer holidays. That also means increased hazards on the water.

As CBS 2’s Dana Tyler reported, experts advise when hitting the waves this weekend, have a plan.

The Nassau County Police Marine Patrol said the best defense for anyone caught in distress on the water is that someone knows you’re out there.

“Let people know where you are in case something happens to your boat. Tell them what time you’re leaving and when you’re coming back and if there’s a problem, they can notify us or the Coast Guard,” Patrolman Ron Citarella said.

Next, prepare any guests for the trip by showing them important features like the radio, CBS 2’s Dana Tyler reported. Teach them how to use it because it can bring help quicker than a cell phone.

“A VHF radio will go out there and there are plenty of boaters out there that will hear you call. With your cell phone, you’re calling only one person,” Citarella said.

Extra life vests always make sense and if you don’t like how bulky they are, you can try inflatable vests.

“Upon contact with water, there’s a little pill inside it that dissolves in water and then it automatically inflates within seconds,” Citarella said.

Whenever possible, choose a back-up captain—someone who knows how to pilot the boat in case of an emergecy.

“I have a license, I can operate the boat in a pinch. I prefer to have my husband operate it but I do know how to handle myself on the water,” boater Mary Kelleher-Baldwin said.

Lastly, don’t forget to gas up your boat. Marine patrol officers say they’re constantly bailing out boaters on empty.

Also, if your boating party is big enough, hire a captain who is not going to drink.

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