Times Spent Outdoors: Priceless!

National Safe Boating Week Is Never Over

Members of the USCG Auxiliary, Division 10, have been stressing safety, not just through May 22 but always.

Members of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Division 10 have been conducting a variety of events for National Safe Boating Week. This week prior to the Memorial Day weekend is to heighten awareness of safe recreational boating.

The events began May 16 and continue through May 22, the official dates of the 2015 North American Safe Boating Campaign.

On May 16: Flotilla's of Division 10 provided - at no charge - Vessel Safety Checks (VSC) at Saguaro and Canyon Lakes, an informational booth with seminars about proper selection of personal flotation devices at Bass Pro Shops in Mesa, conducting safe boating classes, see http://www.cgaux.org for class schedule, and on water safety and education patrols at valley lakes.

The week of activities will conclude on Friday May 22 at Lake Pleasant with VSCs being conducted at both the 10-lane launch ramp and Pleasant Harbor Marina. Also, Auxiliary personnel will again be conducting safety and education patrols during the Memorial Day weekend at the various valley lakes.

Vessel Safety Checks are a free inspection of the federally required and recommended elements of a boat. The VSC inspects life jackets, registration and numbering, navigation lights, ventilation, fire extinguishers and much more. This service is to provide the boat owner information to correct deficiencies not an enforcement activity. No citations are issued, and by completing a VSC the boat owner may be eligible for an insurance discount. Check with each individual insurance company.

The United States Coast Guard encourages everyone to wear life jackets at all times while boating. In 2013, 84 percent of boating-related drowning victims were not wearing life jackets. Children under the age of 13 are required to wear life jackets while underway.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary offers the following boating safety tips to help stay safe on the water:

Stay informed – Be aware of weather conditions. Check the current and future weather forecasts before heading to the lakes, and be aware that conditions can quickly change.

Take a boating safety class. Auxiliary class list is available at http://www.cgaux.org.

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Public Affairs and on page 3 of this issue.

Do not boat under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances.

Stay hydrated. Dehydration affects judgment, vision, and coordination similar to alcohol. Heat, sun, vibration, engine noise along with dehydration all contribute to fatigue while boating.

File a float plan with friends, or family members before heading to the lakes. The plan should include the number of passengers aboard the vessel, destination, expected return time and description of the boat.

Always have a working VHF-FM marine radio onboard. Cell phones may not be reliable at the lakes.

People who participate in sporting activities that require some type of a boat such as fishing, hunting, paddle-boarding, kayaking, water-skiing, and tubing are boaters.

Due to the efforts of the Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, public safety organizations and law enforcement agencies, compared to 2012, the number of recreational boating accidents decreased 10 percent, the number of deaths decreased 14 percent, and the number of injuries decreased 12.7 percent, as reported in 2013 Recreational Boating Statistics, U.S. Coast Guard, Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety published in June 2014.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed civilian component of the U.S. Coast Guard and supports the Coast Guard in nearly all mission areas. The Auxiliary was created by congress in 1939. For more information please visit http://www.cgaux.org and/or James Hoyt, public affairs officer, Flotilla 10-08, Eleventh Coast Guard Auxiliary District South: jshoyt-cga@cox.net


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