Thank the sweet Lord for the Coast Guard!  A rescue swimmer was lowered by helicopter to save three people yesterday off the coast of Long Branch.  They were on a boat about three miles east of Long Branch's beach when it began taking in water.  Would YOU know what to do if your boat was sinking?

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The Patch reported that a 47-foot motor lifeboat from the Coast Guard Station was deployed along with an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter for the rescue.

A skilled rescue swimmer was lowered from the helicopter to help all three people get on board the lifeboat which safely took them to Shark River marina. Everyone was saved and there were no injuries but that begs the question, do you know that to do if a boat capsizes in the ocean?

1.  STAY WITH YOUR BOAT:  The most important thing you can do is stay with the boat and make the distress call for help. This greatly increases your chances of being rescued. From a helicopter's perspective, people look like a spec in the ocean, easily missed.  You've seen it in the movies when a stranded person sees help and they keep passing by.

2.  GRAB YOUR SUPPLIES:  How many supplies can you get your hands on?  Grab those flares, distress signals and extra flotation devices. Find anything that floats and tie it to the boat to create a bigger target.

3.  CLIMB ON TOP OF SOMETHING:  You want to reduce your exposure to the salt water because it robs the body of heat up to 25 times faster than being in the air.  Hypothermia is a huge concern.

4.  PREPARE FOR THE WORST:  You want to have an easy to grab bag of gear in case things go wrong. In that bag should be a registered emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB).

5.  ALWAYS LET SOMEONE KNOW YOU WILL BE OUT IN THE OCEAN  You have to commit to telling people when you expect to be back. So if that deadline is missed they will start looking.

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Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.

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