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Archive for January, 2011

Contact:  Jay Culotta
Public Affairs Officer – Flotilla 42

January 21, 2011


Coast Guard Auxiliary places safe boating bulletin board in Madisonville

Boaters launching at Madisonville’s public boat ramp now have information that can save their lives. A big orange and white bulletin board is set up between the two ramps and contains boating safety information, loaner life jackets and a disposal container for discarded fishing line. The project is an initiative of the Coast Guard Auxiliary’s North Lake Flotilla 42. Inspired by an idea of USCG Captain Edwin M. Stanton, Sector New Orleans Commander, member Kristoffer Diel constructed the board, which is located at the ramps at the end of Lake Road in Madisonville. “The weatherproof bulletin board has information about the Auxiliary’s safe boating classes, free vessel safety checks, local aids to navigation, weather and other safety tips,” said Diel.  “Life jackets save lives, so the board has a selection of life jackets hanging on it which boaters can borrow before leaving the dock and return after their outing on the water. The public is also encouraged to leave life jackets there, if they are in good condition. A variety of sizes from infant to adult is needed.”

An integral part of the board is a disposal container for discarded fishing line. Monofilament left in the water or on the ground is extremely dangerous to birds, fish and other wildlife that become entangled in it. Unable to free themselves, they often suffer permanent damage or death.

The board was so well received at all levels of the CG Auxiliary and the USCG, that it was featured at the Coast Guard Innovation Expo in Tampa, FL in November 2010.

A Louisiana approved safe boating class is required by law for anyone born after January 1, 1984 who operates a watercraft with a greater than 10 horsepower motor. Flotilla 42 offers a state approved course once a month at several locations on the north shore from February through November.   Call Jay Culotta, Flotilla commander, at (985) 845-9366 for a schedule or check the calendar at

Free boating safety checks will be offered at the same location during National Safe Boating Week, May 21-27, 2011. No appointment is necessary.

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.


Madisonville Mayor Peter Gitz, Flotilla Commander Jay Culotta and Flotilla 42 Staff Officer (and board constructor) Kristoffer Diel dedicate the S.L.I.P. (Safe Lauch Information Project) bulletin board.

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


January 19, 2011


About Boating Safely Course – Saturday, February 5th in Madisonville

By Jay Culotta
Flotilla 42 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 Madisonville Town Hall on Saturday, February 5, 2011.

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 was  effective July 1, 2010 and estimates are that about 8,000 residents of the Northshore still need to complete an approved course.

This beginner 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.


  • 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, under the tab CLASSES (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 2011 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 this class date can contact Jay Culotta for other dates in 2011.