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U.S. Coast Guard Sector Buffalo prepared for WNY opioids crisis

Posted at 5:52 PM, Jun 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-06 17:52:26-04

With the rising opioids epidemic in Western New York the U.S. Coast Guard Buffalo Sector is worried about boaters using on the water.

"We are worried about public safety for boaters out on the water and always for the stand point of our officers responding to any overdoses that might occur," Lieutenant Junior Grade, Thomas Bower with U.S. Coast Guard Buffalo Sector said.

Bower also said officers and personnel from Buffalo are going through additional training in South Carolina. They're learning from drug experts how to spot impaired boat operators and ways to handle overdose situations.
In 2016, there were more than 300 overdose cases in Erie County. This year at least 40 confirmed cases so far. A growing problem the Coast Guard wants to get ahead of.

"If we do encounter something we are going to isolate the situation, so the public and our officers are safe and contact the proper authorities to better assist us," U.S. Coast Guard Sector Buffalo Petty Officer First Class, Eric Mazeruk said.