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Archive for the ‘Life Jackets’ Category

Contact:  Jay Culotta
Public Affairs Officer – Flotilla 42, District 8CR

985-845-9366

jay@jay-culotta.com
http://uscgaux-northlake.com

May 4, 2010

PRESS RELEASE:

Citations coming soon to a waterway near you!

By Jay Culotta
Flotilla 42, District 8CR USCG AUX

Instructors from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 42 (Northlake) will conduct an “About Boating Safely” course from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Madisonville Town Hall on Saturday, May 8, 2010. Cost for the class is $30.00 at the door or $25.00 if registered before the class date.

Beginning July 1, 2010 marine law enforcement agencies (U.S. Coast Guard, La. Dept. of Wildlife & Fisheries and local agencies) will begin issuing citations for violation of the Louisiana law passed last year.

This law states: “No person born after January 1, 1984, shall operate a motorboat powered by a motor in excess of ten horsepower unless he has successfully completed a boating safety class approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).  A person who has completed an approved boating safety class shall be in possession of evidence of such completion when operating such a boat.”

Estimates are that about 8,000 residents of the Northshore still need to complete an approved course before July 1st.  This law also applies to operators of PWCs or Personal Water Craft (otherwise known as jet-skis). However, no person under the age of 16 may operate a PWC at any time.

The need for this class is critical in Louisiana, which ranks fourth in the nation in total boating (and fatal) accidents, only behind California, Florida and Texas. In 2008, there were 39 fatal boating accidents, more than one every two weeks. However, this course is not just for beginners. Experienced boaters, no matter how many years they have been boating, will learn things they did not know. Statistics show that most of the people killed in boating accidents are between 26 and 50 years of age with over 500 hours of boating time, were in calm water and had clear weather conditions, with alcohol being a factor in over half of the fatal accidents.

This boating safety class will give operators the knowledge needed to obtain a boat license or safety certification in many states, including Louisiana. In addition, many boat insurance companies will offer discounts (up to 20%) on boating insurance to those who successfully complete this course.

Among the many topics covered are how to know where you should be in relation to other vessels and which vessel has the right of way; how to read buoys and understand many navigation rules; proper use of navigation lights and anchors; how to safely fuel, load and unload your vessel; what to do in an emergency and how to summon help; proper use of fire extinguishers and flares; and many other skills needed by boaters on the waterways.

Further details and registration are at About Boating Safely. Since class space is limited, pre-registration is highly encouraged. If you pre-register and are unable to attend the class, you will be able to attend another date in 2010 without penalty.

Help the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary improve recreational boating safety and the life you save might be your own. The fine is estimated at $50 and you still will have to take a course, so would you rather pay $80 with the ticket or $30 without the ticket?

See our calendar for other dates and locations at 2010 Calendar.

###

Yes, Personal Flotation Devices (life jackets) really do save lives, but only if they are worn. 

Not convinced, consider this – In 2008, of the 709 total Fatal Boating Accidents, 510 were by drowning, but only 46 of those who drowned were wearing Life Jackets. In other words, you are 11 times more likely to drown if you are not wearing a Personal Flotation Device.

Learn more about PFDs by taking one of our boating safety courses in Mandeville at the Pontchartrain Yacht Club or in Madisonville at the Town Hall. See the 2010 Calendar for dates and locations.

Northlake Flotilla 42 has proudly served the needs of the boating public in Mandeville, Madisonville, Covington and neighboring areas on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain for over 27 years. To learn more about us, becoming a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and how we serve to increase recreational boating safety, visit Contact Us. However, no matter where you live, you are welcome to attend any of our classes.

US Coast Guard Auxiliary: Life Jacket PSA from USCG Auxiliary on Vimeo.

There are five types of Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) or Life Jackets as they are commonly known. No matter how uncomfortable (they are NOT) or uncool they seem to be, THEY WORK! But they only work IF you wear one.

Type I PFD: Off-Shore Life Jacket

Type I PFDs provide the most buoyancy. They are designed for offshore and rough water conditions. They come in two sizes, adult and child. The child size is designed with at least 11 pounds of buoyancy while the adult size has at least 22. Type I PFDs are designed to float unconscious victims in the face-up position, no matter how they end up in the water.

Type II PFD: Near-Shore Life Jacket

Type II PFDs should be used in inland waters where there is a reasonable chance of a speedy rescue. They are the typical  orange life jackets that are in the shape of a “U.” They fit over a person’s neck and come down on each side of the chest. Type II PFDs will usually turn some unconscious victims to a face-up position, but not always. These PFDs provide between 7 to 15.5 pounds of buoyancy, depending on infant to adult sizes.

Type III PFD: Flotation Aid

Type III PFDs are designed for inland conditions. These are PFDs worn for specific activities such as fishing vests and kayaking. They are designed for comfort, continuous wear, and for ease of mobility.  They probably won’t turn the wearer to the face-up position in the water. Rather, they tend to float wearers in a vertical position. The definition of Type III PFDs usually contains the word “calm” to describe the water conditions for which they are designed.

Type IV PFD: Throwable Device

Type IV PFDs are carried on boats so they can be thrown to a drowning person. These are either the circular rings found on commercial boats or around swimming pools or on recreational motor boats they are seat cushion style devices. They are not meant to be worn.

Type V PFD: Special Use and Hybrid Devices

These are intended for specific activities and must be used in accordance with the specifications on their labels. Some of the features that may be included in these devices is hypothermia protection, inflatable portions, and work vests.

Inflatable PFDs: Types I-III

Inflatable PFDs are becoming more popular and prevalent. They are the most comfortable type of life jacket but they do have their downsides. Inflatable PFDs offer no flotation until they are inflated. They are not to be used where impact and high speeds are encountered as this can damage the inflation mechanism and in these conditions the person wearing the PFD may be knocked unconscious before they are able to deploy the inflation feature. They are not intended to be used by children and some states have specific restrictions depending on age. They also required more maintenance because the parts that cause the inflation need to be inspected and changed on a regular basis.

Inflatable PFDs are great for use in recreational kayaking and kayak fishing. They come in Type I, Type II, and Type III PFD specifications and are intended for use following the same guidelines.

To learn more about how to select the proper PFD and how to use them, take our About Boating Safely course.

What’s the best type of PFD or Life Jacket?

The one you have on!


ATTENTION!

July 1, 2010 is the deadline for the operators of a vessel in excess of 10 h.p. to show evidence that they have successfully completed an approved boating safety class. This law applies to anyone born after January 1, 1984.

If you are stopped by the Coast Guard, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries or applicable local law enforcement and cannot produce evidence you have completed a class, you WILL be given a citation. You can be assured that the cost will be much greater than the $30.00 cost of taking our course, which you will have to do anyway!

The law reads as follows:

“No person born after January 1, 1984, shall operate a motorboat powered by a motor in excess of ten horsepower unless he has successfully completed a boating safety class approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).  A person who has completed an approved boating safety class shall be in possession of evidence of such completion when operating such a boat.”

BONUS: Completion of this course
qualifies for a discount on boat insurance
(about 10%) from most major insurers.

If you live in Mandeville, Madisonville, Covington or nearby areas, you have five (5) more opportunities to take the class before July 1st. Here is the link to our Calendar (here) which contains the dates, times and locations.

For more information on About Boating Safely, our most popular safe boating class and the one that complies with the Louisiana requirements for a boating safety class, click HERE.


Federal law requires the operator – or owner, if the operator is deceased or unable to make the report – to file a boating accident report with the State reporting authority when, as a result of an occurrence that involves a boat or its equipment:

  • A person dies
  • A person disappears from the vessel under circumstances that indicate death or injury
  • A person is injured and requires medical treatment beyond first aid
  • Damage to vessels and other property totals $2,000 (lower amounts in some states and territories) or more
  • The boat is destroyed.

You can help the Coast Guard and its boating safety partners to save lives by understanding and complying with this requirement.

NOTE:

Louisiana Law States: The operator/owner of a vessel used for recreational purposes is required to file a report in writing whenever an accident results in: loss of life or disappearance from a vessel; an injury which requires medical treatment beyond first aid; or property damage in excess of $500.00 or complete loss of the vessel.

  • Reports in death and injury cases must be submitted within 48 hours.
  • Reports in other cases must be submitted within 5 days.

Reports must be submitted to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Boating Safety & Waterway Enforcement, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70898-9000.

Download an accident reporting form here.

Download an online fillable accident reporting form here.

Most states and territories accept this form.  If you have an accident, file the form within 48 hours for a fatal accident or within 10 days for a non-fatal reportable accident with your state or territorial Boating Law Administrator.

All this is covered in About Boating Safely, our most popular safe boating class and the one that complies with the Louisiana requirements for a boating safety class. For more information, click HERE.

Most of this post came from the U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Resource Center. You can learn more about this and other subjects at http://www.uscgboating.org/default.aspx.

Contact:  Jay Culotta
Public Affairs Officer – Flotilla 081-04-02
985-845-9366
jay@jay-culotta.com

http://uscgaux-northlake.com

April 17, 2010

PRESS RELEASE

Lack of boater education linked to rise in recreational boating fatalities.

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary has expressed concern over statistics reporting a rise in recreational boating fatalities in a recently released publication of the 2008 boating safety statistics.

The fatality rate, a measure of the number of deaths against the number of registered recreational boats, increased from 5.3 in 2007 to 5.6 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational boats in 2008. During this time, the Coast Guard recorded 709 deaths, 3,331 injuries and approximately $54 million dollars in damage to property, stemming from 4,789 recreational boating accidents.

Operator inattention, careless or reckless operation, no proper lookout, operator inexperience and passenger or skier behavior rank as the top five contributing factors to recreational boating accidents.

Alcohol consumption continues to be of major concern in fatal boating accidents and is listed as the leading contributing factor in 17 percent of the deaths.

Rear Adm. Kevin Cook, the Coast Guard’s director of prevention policy, emphasized the importance of boating education saying, “The 2008 report shows a clear link between safety and boating education by highlighting that only 10 percent of deaths occurred on boats where the operator had received boating safety education. This statistic indicates that boaters who have taken a boating safety course are less likely to be involved in an accident. In addition, two-thirds of all fatal boating accident victims drowned; and of those, 90 percent were not wearing a life jacket. The Coast Guard urges all boaters, whether as an operator or passenger, to take a boating safety course and to always wear your life jacket.”

For seventy years the Coast Guard Auxiliary has provided boater education to the American boating public. Courses are taught by experienced and knowledgeable instructors committed to the highest standards of the U.S. Coast Guard. For more information about Coast Guard Auxiliary boater education course please visit Northlake Flotilla. In addition to boater education courses the Auxiliary also offers free Vessel Safety Checks. (Click here.)

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed volunteer component of the United States Coast Guard created by an Act of Congress in 1939. The Auxiliary, America?s Volunteer Guardians, supports the Coast Guard in nearly all of the service’s missions.

For more information on boating responsibly, go to http://www.uscgboating.org/.

###

Contact:  Jay Culotta
Public Affairs Officer – Flotilla 081-04-02
985-845-9366
jay@jay-culotta.com

http://uscgaux-northlake.com

April 7, 2010

PRESS RELEASE:

About Boating Safely Course – Saturday, April 17th in Mandeville, April 24th in Madisonville

By Jay Culotta
Flotilla 4-2 8CR USCGAUX

Instructors from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 081-04-02 (Northlake) will conduct an About Boating Safely (ABS) course from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Pontchartrain Yacht Club on Saturday, April 17, 2010 and at the Madisonville Town Hall on Saturday, April 24, 2010.

Louisiana Law states that “No person born after January 1, 1984, shall operate a motorboat powered by a motor in excess of ten horsepower unless he has successfully completed a boating safety class approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).  A person who has completed an approved boating safety class shall be in possession of evidence of such completion when operating such a boat.” This law is effective July 1, 2010 and estimates are that about 8,000 residents of the Northshore still need to complete an approved course before July.

This wide-ranging boating class will give operators the knowledge needed to obtain a boat license or safety certification in many states, including Louisiana. In addition, many boat insurance companies will offer discounts (about 10%) on boating insurance to boaters who successfully complete About Boating Safely.

TOPICS INCLUDE

  • Introduction to Boating – Types of power boats; sailboats; outboards; paddle boats; houseboats; different uses of boats; various power boating engines; jet drives; family boating basics.
  • Boating Law – Boat registration; boating regulation; hull identification number; required boat safety equipment; operating safely and reporting accidents; protecting the marine environment; Federal boat law; state boating laws; personal watercraft requirements.
  • Boat Safety Equipment – Personal flotation devices (“life jackets”); fire extinguishers; sound-producing devices; visual-distress signals; dock lines and rope; first aid kit; anchors and anchor lines; other boating safety equipment.
  • Safe Boating – Alcohol and drug abuse; entering, loading, and trimming a boat; fueling portable and permanent tanks; docking, undocking and mooring; knots; filing a float plan; checking equipment, fuel, weather and tides; using charts; choosing and using an anchor; safe PWC handling; general water safety.
  • Navigation – The U.S. Aids to Navigation system; types of buoys and beacons; navigation rules (sometimes referred to as right-of-way rules); avoiding collisions; sound signals.
  • Boating Problems – Hypothermia; boating accidents and rescues; man overboard recovery; capsizing; running aground; hazards; emergency radio calls; engine problems; equipment failures; carbon monoxide (CO); other boating and PWC problems.
  • Trailering, Storing and Protecting Your Boat – Types of trailers; trailer brakes, lights, hitches, tires, and bearings; loading, balancing, and towing a trailer; towing (and backing) a trailer; boat launching and retrieving; boat storage and theft protection; launching.
  • Hunting and Fishing, Water-skiing and River Boating – Carrying hunting gear and weapons in a boat; fishing from a boat; water-skiing safety guidelines and hand signals; water-skiing with a PWC; navigating rivers, and other boating tips.

The course is not only for beginners; experienced boaters will also learn tips and safety techniques that will help them become better and safer boaters. Registration is $30.00 at the door, pre-registration is only $25,00. Multi-person discounts are also available. Details and registration can be found at our website, http://uscgaux-northlake.com under the tab Public Education. Since class space is limited, pre-registration is highly encouraged. If you pre-register and are unable to attend the class, you will be able to attend another date in 2010 without penalty.

The need for this class is critical as Louisiana ranks fourth in the nation in total boating accidents, only behind California, Florida and Texas. Help the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary improve recreational boating safety because the life you save might be your own or someone you love. Remember, educated boaters and wearing life jackets save lives!

Those people who are not available for these class dates can contact Jay Culotta.

Contact:  Jay Culotta
Public Affairs Officer – Flotilla 081-04-02

985-845-9366

jay@jay-culotta.com
http://uscgaux-northlake.com

April 5, 2010

PRESS RELEASE:

Free Vessel Safety Checks Saturday, April 10th in Madisonville

By Jay Culotta
Flotilla 4-2 8CR USCGAUX

Vessel Examiners from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 081-04-02 (Northlake) will conduct Free Vessel Safety Checks from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Madisonville Boat Launch at the mouth of the Tchefuncte River on Saturday, April 10, 2010.

These checks are to help ensure the safety of the vessels and occupants and to educate the operators — NOT to issue citations. The vessel owner receives a copy of the checklist to help correct the missing, incorrect or non-working items and the only other person who sees this is the Vessel Examiner himself. This inspection is NOT reported to any law enforcement or related authority.

Among the items checked during an inspection are the presence of accessible, serviceable life jackets, proper registration and numbering, functioning navigation lights, fire extinguishers and distress signals, such as flares and a horn. If missing or not operating correctly, any of the above could result in a citation if inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard, La. Wildlife and Fisheries or the St. Tammany Sheriff’s patrol — but not from the USCG Auxiliary. If the vessel passes the inspection, it receives a 2010 orange decal.

If the vessel does not pass the inspection, the owner/operator simply needs to notify the original Vessel Examiner when corrections have been made and he will come to the vessel at your convenience to check the missing items and issue the decal.

Those people who are not available for this Saturday’s inspections can contact Jay Culotta at 985-845-9366 or at email to jay@jay-culotta.com to schedule an inspection.

###

You and your friends are having a wonderful time out on the water, but suddenly someone shouts “Man Overboard!” Now what do you do?

The first thing is to instruct the person who spotted the victim in the water to point at him/her and keep pointing, never taking their eyes off of them. It is easy to lose sight of someone bobbing in the water, especially if they do not have a life jacket on and the water is choppy.

Next, you slow the boat and circle around to where the person is pointing. If they do not have a life jacket already on, throw them a floatable cushion (you should have at least one onboard). Carefully pull alongside the victim, approaching from downwind. Stop the engine and help to pull the victim on board over the stern, keeping the weight in the boat balanced as you do this.

The Rescue Technique taught in the About Boating Safely course is as follows:

REACH

  • If the victim is within arm’s length, reach for the hand or wrist and pull him/her to safety.
  • If further out, use a shirt, towel, oar, line or other object to pull to safety.

THROW

  • If the victim is too far away to reach, throw the victim a PFD or floating cushion, or anything else that will float.

ROW

  • If you are not already on a boat, for instance on a dock, row to the victim and Reach. If the victim is too weak or you are unable to lift them over the stern, then row to shore while the victim holds on to the stern or until more help arrives.

GO

  • Swimmers without lifesaving training should not swim to a victim. Never place yourself in the same danger, especially since many people panic if they think they are drowning and often put the person trying to help in as much or more danger than they are by fighting the rescue, instead of cooperating. Instead, GO for help if possible. If you must swim to a victim, make sure you are wearing a PFD and take along something that floats between you and the victim.

You can help avoid the chance of someone falling overboard by preventing people from sitting on the gunwale, bow or seat backs and standing or moving about while the boat is underway.

This is only one of the many valuable ideas and techniques you will learn by taking the About Boating Safely course.

For more information on About Boating Safely, our most popular safe boating class and the one that complies with the Louisiana requirements for a boating safety class, click HERE.

It is not unusual for the Coast Guard and other rescuers to search for a person who ended up in the water unexpectedly. All too often the search and rescue evolves into a search and recovery because the person was not wearing a lifejacket.

It is not uncommon for boaters and/or their passengers to unexpectedly find themselves in the water without a lifejacket. Some survive and unfortunately some do not. Not wearing a lifejacket while boating, including, canoeing, kayaking and stand-up paddle-boarding is like playing “Russian Roulette.”

The chances of a non-swimmer surviving a fall overboard if not wearing a lifejacket are remote if not rescued quickly. “Not to wear a lifejacket whether you are a swimmer or not is to take an unnecessary risk, you never know when you might end up in the water”, said Anthony Turner a spokesperson for the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

There many excuses for not wearing a lifejacket, such as “they are uncomfortable” or “too expensive.” U.S. Coast Guard approved lifejackets range in price from as low as $15.00 to about $400.00 for the top of the line inflatable, although, even the most expensive lifejacket is of no value if it is not worn.

It is undisputable a lifejacket can and will save a life if properly worn, but what about preventing boating mishaps in the first place. Since most boating mishaps are caused by operator inattention, inexperience, and speeding resulting in collisions, remembering and following a few simple boating rules of the road, such as keeping a sharp lookout for other boat traffic, can help prevent collisions.

All this is covered in About Boating Safely, our most popular safe boating class and the one that complies with the Louisiana requirements for a boating safety class. For more information, click HERE.

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed volunteer component of the United States Coast Guard created by an Act of Congress in 1939. The Auxiliary, America’s Volunteer Guardians, supports the Coast Guard in nearly all of the service’s missions.

This article originally appeared on the USCG Auxiliary Publics Affiars Website.

http://auxpa.org