Post Calendar
May 2010
S M T W T F S
« Apr    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  
Categories
Monthly Archives

Posts Tagged ‘Boating Safety’

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.

###

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.

It is hard to see on the chart below, but here are the heights and durations of these flares:

  • Pocket Rocket Aerial Flares — 300′ and 6.5 seconds
  • 25MM Aerial Flare — 375′ and 7 seconds
  • Skyblazer II Aerial Flare — 450′ and 6.9 seconds
  • 12 Gauge HP — 500′ and 7 seconds
  • Solas & 25MM Aerial Parachute — 1,000 ‘ and 29-40 seconds
  • Hand-Held Flare — 3 minutes

If you use flares to qualify as your VDS, you must have a minimum of three, which are NOT expired. This is one of the requirements of a Vessel Safety Check and one of the first things the Coast Guard will look for if they board or inspect your vessel.

However, do not throw the expired ones away. Keep them in a separate moisture proof container because they might save your life if you use up the unexpired ones. Expired flares have been known to fire even after 10 or more years, if they are kept dry.  For more information, download this Orion brochure called Saved by the Signal.

TIP #1: If you decide to use a flare gun, CHECK TO SEE THAT THE BARREL OPENS before you ever need to actually use it.  There were some defective guns which accidentally made it to the market that would NOT open and although your chances of getting one of these is slim, it is a good practice to make sure your flare gun is operable before you need to use it. However, DO NOT fire a real flare to “TEST” the gun. This is illegal because if someone sees it and reports it to the Coast Guard, you will be fined when someone shows up to assist you and it was a false alarm. (Much like making a false 911 emergency phone call.)

TIP #2: In an actual emergency if you need to fire a flare, try to wait until you can see or hear an approaching vessel or aircraft because you might be firing into the sky with no one around. Also, after you fire the first one, wait about ten seconds and then fire the second one. This is in case someone sees the first flare but is not sure it was a distress signal. The second flare confirms that they have seen something genuine and then can respond accordingly.

Study the images below and learn the differences in types of flares, their duration and the height to which they rise. It makes a big difference in the distance that they are visible from another vessel.

Learn more about Visual Distress Signals by taking one of our boating safety classes 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.

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.

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.

Many people do not take advantage of one of the easiest and most effective ways to help searchers find you if you have an accident, emergency or are stranded and cannot return to port. It’s called a Float Plan and the few minutes it takes to fill one in could save your life and/or the others with you!

A minimum float plan should include your name, the names of the other people on the boat with you, a description of your boat (size, color, type), where you are going and when you expect to return, as well as the purpose of your trip. Be sure you are able to let someone know if you change your plans while you are out. If you don’t, the Coast Guard (or other searchers) might be looking in the wrong place.

If you are launching from a ramp, especially a public ramp, leave a copy of the minimum information on the dashboard of your vehicle so it can be seen from the outside. Police usually patrol the public ramps a few times a day and if there is a lone vehicle in the lot long after everyone is gone, they can see if you should have returned already. If you are overdue they will know who to call for more information and notify the Coast Guard or other agency. Also, by having the name and number of the contact person, they are able to check and verify  you have not somehow already returned.

You can download a copy of a detailed Float Plan from Float Plan Central, Print a few extra to keep in your vehicle in case you forget to leave one at home before you leave.

One of the other advantages to using this form is that you have a checklist of items you should have before you leave. DON’T leave if you are missing some of the emergency gear, like visual distress signals, Life Jackets and adequate drinking water.

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.

Also, get a FREE Vessel Safety Check to make sure you have all the proper gear and that your vessel is good to go! Click here to get more information and contact us to schedule a VSC.

Educated Boaters
Save Lives!

Always Wear
Your Life Jackets!

Life Jackets Save Lives!

03 Marino RBS 60 mov from USCG Auxiliary on Vimeo.

All this and much more 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.