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THE DRUM POINT FLOTILLA
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Donald M. Haskin, Flotilla Commander

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Seven Swimming Safety Tips From the Boat US Foundation

Photo Caption: Boaters have special safety needs when swimming from a boat.

Boaters have special safety needs when swimming from a boat.

ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 25, 2012 – Boating and swimming go hand-in-hand, but unlike a public pool or beach, boaters can’t count on a to watch over them. As this summer’s wave drives more boaters to dive into the deep blue, the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety has these seven swimming tips:

1. Always ensure the engine is off. The best way to do this is to remove the key from the ignition, leaving it in plain view so everyone knows it won’t start.
2. At , stray electric current from poorly maintained boat electrical and shore power systems can kill swimmers. Three separate marina electrocution incidents over the July 4 left four kids and one adult dead, and injured several others who had tried to come to their rescue.
3. Never dive in head first before confirming the water depth. Mistakenly diving into a shallow, mucky bottom may simply leave you bruised and looking more like the creature of black lagoon. However, diving head first into hard , rock or underwater obstruction could put you in a wheelchair. Deploy a boarding ladder first and ease yourself in to confirm water depth.
4. Never swim alone. If you’re in the middle of the lake and swimming alone, there’s no safety in case you have a problem – which could be nearby boaters unaware of you.
5. It’s always a good idea to have a life jacket or floating close by (and tied to the boat) that swimmers can easily reach while in the water, or simply hang a dock line over the side. And even if you’re a good , wearing a life jacket while in the water makes you nearly -proof.
6. Never swim under a boat’s swim platform or near any boat with the engine running. You could strike the or fall victim to poisoning – it only takes a few whiffs of CO to leave swimmers incapacitated or unconscious. Also stay away from generator exhaust ports.
7. When boats and swimmers collide, boats always win. You’re simply asking for trouble if you swim in navigation channels or marinas. Also never swim in area with strong river or tidal currents, which can swiftly sweep swimmers away from the boat.
For more information on boating safety programs from the BoatUS Foundation, such as the free Online Boating Safety Course or free Kid’s Life Jacket Loaner Program, go to www.BoatUS.com/Foundation.
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2012 Vessel Safety Check Decal

The Coast Guard Auxiliary and
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Remember the Maryland 25
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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  • 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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