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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.

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One of our members, Capt. Noel Brumfield, whose day job is to maintain the entire Causeway bridge (everything under the actual roadway), came up with this idea to promote boating safety and the required Louisiana safe boating course.

Shortly we hope to plaster business doors, cars and anything that moves with these bumper stickers to get out the message that people born after January 1, 1984 must take this course to avoid receiving a citation by the Coast Guard, Wildlife and Fisheries or local law enforcement. Citations will be issued beginning July 1st.

So, do you want to pay $25-$30 now or as much as $80 (or more) later?

The choice is yours up to the moment you leave on the voyage when you get the ticket. Then it’s too late! And don’t forget the added bonus of saving up to 20% on your boat insurance (from most major companies) with the proof you have completed the course.

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.

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.

Auxiliarists have a great deal to be proud of.

Over the past ten years, Auxiliary members have:

  • Contributed  44,417,850 hours
  • Taught 1,678,946 people with 980,000 hours of classroom work.
  • Spent over 869,000 hours in community relations and media events
  • Conducted 1,170,535 Vessel safety Checks (VSCs) over 579,000 hours, including more than 167,000 first time VSCs and over 158,000 high risk VSCs
  • Made over 418,000 visits Recreational Boating Safety Program Visits spending more than 279,000 mission hours
  • Served 4,297,312 hours underway on safety patrols
  • Worked 56,188 hours on 25,377 missions, verifying 138,867 ATONs
  • Spent over 19,475,000 hours on administrative tasks
  • Examined over 10,223 Commercial Fishing Vessels
  • Provided 1,587,646 hours of Coast Guard Operational Support on over 197,000 Support missions
  • Supported the Coast Guard administratively with  770,554 hours & 115,292 missions
  • Trained over 1,125,019 hours
  • Performed Search and Rescue for over 723,000 hours, resulting in 5,083 lives saved, 141,980 persons assisted, & $1,460,055,940 in property saved.
  • Recruited for The Coast Guard Academy, Active Duty & Reserve Officer and Enlisted programs for  over 105,000 hours
  • Spent more than 700,000 hours on Marine Safety and Environmental Protection missions
  • Contributed more than 22,000 hours in medical support to the Coast Guard
  • Worked more than 39,000 hours in the International arena
  • Consulted with state legislatures for over 5,483 hours

Since 1999, the Coast Guard Auxiliary has participated in events, including but not limited to:

  • OPSail 2000 & USCGC Eagle visits to U.S. ports
  • 9/11 attacks response
  • Hurricanes Charlie, Rita, Katrina, Ike
  • The California Delta Whale Rescue
  • Several oil spills in the gulf coast, Alaska and in California.
  • Annual support for AIM week(s) at the USCGA
  • Annual support for the International Boating and Water Sports Symposia
  • National Association of State Boating law Administrators events
  • Boating Safety Advisory Council
  • Training various waterborne police agencies
  • Support the Coast Guard with Interpreters throughout the world
  • Support as Chefs on CG vessels and stations.
  • Augmenting by Auxiliary Health Professionals at Coast Guard clinics.

We provide the biggest bang for the buck for the American taxpayer.  Each of us should take pride in knowing that we are special group, making a unique contribution to the Coast Guard and our Nation.  Thank you for your service.

COMO Nicholas Kerigan
National Commodore
United States Coast Guard Auxiliary

Northlake Flotilla 42 conducted an About Boating Safely class today with seventeen students in attendance, the largest safe boating class in well over  a year.  The class took place from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. with all students passing, most with flying colors.

With the approaching deadline of July 1, 2010 for the issuance of citations,  the numbers are only going to grow over the next few months.

The newest mariners to qualify to legally operate a vessel are James Lavigne, Ryan Mathies, Blake Rappold, Marcel Damiens Jr., Jonathan Damiens, Amanda Damiens, Joseph Damiens III, Chris Landry, Harley Derks, Adrian Andre and Wilson Guenard. The other students who were not required to take the course, but wanted to learn more about boating safety are Alan Guenard, Brian Andre, Robert Thomas Jr., Annette Thomas, Marcel Damiens Sr. and newest Flotilla 42 applicant Nathan Eberhardt.

The class was conducted by lead instructor “par excellence” Adrian Diel and assisted by Vice Flotilla Commander Jay Culotta. Having lived his entire life on a boat, Adrian, at 20 years old, is a deep wellspring of knowledge unheard of in mariners more than twice his age.

Flotilla 42 would like to acknowledge and thank the City of Madisonville for the use of the Town Hall. Mayor Peter Gitz and his staff are very gracious and accommodating.

The next scheduled class is May 8, 2010 also at the Madisonville Town Hall. For more information about the Louisiana required safe boating class, click HERE. For the remaining 2010 schedule, click HERE.

Northlake Flotilla 42 proudly serves the needs of the boating public in Mandeville, Madisonville, Covington and neighboring areas on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. To learn more about us, becoming a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and how we serve the needs of the recreational boaters, 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!


This says it ALL!

How NOT to launch your boat!

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/.

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