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Take a boating safety course. A boating safety course prepares you to be a safer boater. The knowledge you gain may help you in the future.

5th District Public Affairs
U.S. Coast Guard
News Release

Date: May 19, 2011

Contact: Public Affairs Det. Atlantic City
(609) 677-2204

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – The Coast Guard in the Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey shore areas is scheduled to participate in National Safe Boating Week May 21 to 27.

National Safe Boating Week marks the informal beginning of summer and Coast Guard crews throughout the will be on patrol paying particular attention to recreational boating safety.

“Remember to wear your , monitor your marine radio and file and update as needed a float plan with a trusted family member or friend,” said Capt. Todd Gatlin, the deputy commander at Coast Guard Sector in Philadelphia. “In summary, think safety.  We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable .”

Nationwide, more than 700 people die every year in boating and paddling accidents.  Approximately two-thirds drown and more than 90 percent of these were not wearing a .

The most recent data for the Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey waters shows 200 occurred in 2009 resulting in a total of 18 fatalities.

Most occur on boats where the operator had not completed a boating safety education course. Courses cover many aspects of boating safety from boat handling to reading the .

The Coast Guard urges boaters to obtain a free, no-fault vessel safety check, which can be conducted by the Coast Guard Auxiliary, before heading out on the water. The safety checks are courtesy examinations of your vessel, verifying the presence and condition of certain safety equipment required by state and federal regulations.

The Coast Guard also urges boaters to boat sober. Boating under the influence or boating while intoxicated is just as deadly as drinking and driving. It is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs in every state. Penalties for violating BUI and BWI laws can include large fines, suspension or revocation of boat operator privileges and jail terms.

Other dangers include bow riding, which occurs when passengers unsafely remain on the bow of a recreational vessel while it is making way. This is inherently unsafe when the bow is not outfitted with the appropriate safety equipment for seating passengers, such as a non-skid deck surface, railings or seats.  Even while wearing a life jacket, a person who falls off the bow can be at risk of a propeller strike.

Here are some other tips to help boaters have a safe and pleasant summer on the water:

  • Make sure a friend or relative knows your float plan. A float plan states where you are going and how many people are aboard your vessel. It also gives a vessel description, details your destination and what time you expect to arrive there. If you are delayed for some reason, make sure you let someone know.
  • Make certain to check the local weather prior to departing the dock. Weather can change very rapidly, and you should keep a watchful eye on the forecasted conditions.
  • Have nautical charts of the area you are boating in, a global positioning device and a reliable means of communication on board your vessel. VHF-radio is the best method of communication while on the water. Although cell phones are a good backup, they can be unreliable due to gaps in coverage area and the inevitable dead battery.
  • Wear your life jacket. In an emergency there might not be enough time to put one on, so wearing one at all times may save your life.

Media wanting more information are requested to contact Public Affairs Detachment Atlantic City, N.J., at 609-677-2204.

For further boating safety information, check online at one of the following:

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliaryhttp://www.cgaux.org/

Vessel Safety Checks: http://www.vesselsafetycheck.org/

Coast Guard Boating Safety page: http://www.uscgboating.org/

National Safe Boating Council: http://www.safeboatingcouncil.org/

U.S. Power Squadrons: http://www.usps.org/

###

Saving Lives and Guarding the Coast Since 1790.
The United States Coast Guard — Proud History. Powerful Future.

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Dead Maryland Boaters in 2011

Three Maryland boating deaths in 2012. Three sailboat emergencies, 1 death; 1 swimmer death; 1 allision death with two trauma injuries; 1 major injury from gasoline engine fire,

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Our Instagrams
  • A foggy day in Southern Maryland. Good morning shipmates.
  • Wear it!  News media ask the boaters you photograph why they don't. Start the discussion and save a life.
  • Our cold-water survival training was ultimately made possible by the Guardians of  U S Coast Guard Station Annapolis.  Two Guardians hauled each of us onto the deck of a fast boat.  During the training they made sure we were safe.  I am so proud to serve with these men and women. Each one is an outstanding professional.  Thank you Station Annapolis.
  • Once a crew is in the water survival and staying together is key. Chaining together as they do here the crew shares warmth and prolongs life.
  • A face that could be your next door neighbor. Coast Guard Auxiliary members from three Maryland flotillas took their annual cold-water training at Coast Guard Station Annapolis. Bill Smith from the Drum Point Flotilla reflects the serious of his training in his expression. Bill is not new to cold water.
  • To. feller and Bill Smith, Coast Guard Auxiliary, arrive at Coast Guard Station Annapolis for cold-water training.
  • A two-minute lesson that covered finger dexterity after cold water immersion. We placed a hand in cold water while the instructor spoke for two minutes. One we removed our hands we had to pick up the coin on the table. Not as easy as if looks. Try this only with an expert present.
  • Shawn Moore, Auxiliarist was our cold-water instructor.
  • Ray Feller, Auxiliarist  dons his dry suit. The suit provides significant protection in cold water. Having the suit alone is not enough. Knowing how the human body reacts to sudden immersion was the classroom session of our training today.
  • These volunteers attending cold-water survival training today could be your neighbors. Flotillas from Solomons Island to Annapolis were represented today.  Guardians made sure our training was safe. Another reason why I love to say Guardians rock!
Comfortable Lifejackets
Lifejackets are comfortable and they save lives!

Lifejackets are comfortable and they save lives!

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Admiral Lee on Bow Riding

Rear Admiral William "Dean" Lee

“You wouldn’t allow your kids to sit on the hood of your car, so why would you allow them to sit on the bow of your boat?”

Rear Admiral Dean Lee, 5th District commander, United States Coast Guard

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The behaviors Maryland boaters need to change most.

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