PORTLAND – The Coast Guard is offering safe boating tips and asking boaters to not launch fireworks from aboard their vessels this Fourth of July holiday weekend.

Officials said fireworks can be mistaken as a sign of distress and needlessly draw the attention of the Coast Guard and others.

They also recommend that boaters wear life jackets at all times and that they not overload their vessels with too many people.

Boaters are urged to invest in a marine-band radio to communicate while on the water, and to doublecheck their boat’s lighting and sound signals.