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Posts Tagged ‘safe boating’

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


May 4, 2010


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.

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.