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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/.

###

On Tuesday, April 13, 2010, Northlake Flotilla conducted it’s monthly meeting at the Pontchartain Yacht Club in Mandeville. Sixteen members, including our DIRAUX, CAPT Jim Montgomery, were present along with three guests. Chef Charlie Montz prepared his usual tasty meal and at 1920 we finished eating and started the meeting.

Much of the time was spent handing out awards to Adrian Diel, Kristoffer Diel, Judy Darby, Jay Culotta, William Wellemeyer, M. Don Diven and Ed DiGiovanni. (It gives me an excuse to take more photos.) Flotilla Commander Kris Diel presented himself with one, M. Don Diven and Ed DiGiovanni also received one each and William Wellemeyer, Jay Culotta, Adrian Diel and Judy Darby each recieved two. It almost appears that we have been busy! (Actually we have and our flotilla has some very hardworking and motivated members.)

After conducting relatively mundane normal business, we had an interesting and eye-opening Member Training by Jim Montgomery who schooled us in the differences between Types 1, 2, 3 and 4 PFD’s (formerly called Life Jackets). Do you wonder how a Type 1 Life Jacket, the safest (and bulkiest) type for all kinds of situations, only has a bouyancy level of less than 25 lbs.? Well keep on the lookout for a coming post on Life Jackets and find out the interesting details.

Also, do you know which life jacket is the best? It’s the one you have on!

Sadly, too many people drown because they are suddenly in the water and did not have time to grab the life jacket and put it on before being thrust into the water. Another startling statistic that CAPT Montgomery pointed out was that even though Personal Water Craft are about ten percent of the total vessels on the water, they produce about one-third of all accidents. Yet only ten percent of those accidents result in fatlities. It does not seem to make sense since the operators are much more vulnerable on the relatively small PWC’s, but the reason there are dramatically less deaths are because almost all of the operators are wearing Life Jackets! Life Jackets SAVE Lives (but only if they are WORN)!

A good time of eating, fellowship and education was had by all and at 2020, Mr. Noel Brumfiield made his customary motion to adjourn the meeting.

Click on each thumbnail to see the full size photo and description.

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.

###

Announcing NACON in August in Arizona from USCG Auxiliary on Vimeo.

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.

Don’t Drink While Boating

Washington – In a landmark study on drinking and boating, funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Highway Safety Research Center (HSRC) researchers collaborated with colleagues from Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health to conduct the first population-based, case-control study of the role of alcohol in recreational boating deaths.

Drinking evidence of those who died in North Carolina and Maryland in recreational boating incidents between 1989 and 1998 were combined with interview data and Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) measurements obtained a probability sample of 3,943 boaters on lakes, rivers and coastal bays and sounds during three summers in North Carolina and Maryland.

Highlights of the study include:

  • Recreational boat passengers are just as likely as operators to die as a result of drinking alcohol. A primary reason for this is that most boating fatalities involve falling overboard and drowning, rather than collisions. Drinking increases the risk to passengers of falling into the water, and of drowning once in the water, even if the operator has not been drinking.
  • Even with a BAC of only 0.01%, the risk to operators and passengers increased 30% compared to individuals with no alcohol in their blood. The risk of death was more than 52 times greater when victims showed a blood alcohol content of 0.25%.
  • About 80 percent of boating fatalities result from drowning.
  • Efforts to reduce boating deaths that target only operators such as legal limits for boat operators or suggestions to use “designated operators” fail to protect many boaters who are at risk.

Over the Fourth of July weekend and whenever on the water, don’t drink and boat.

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 is from the USCG Auxiliary Public Affiars Website.