We are Semper Paratus.

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary

Department of
Homeland Security

District 5SR
Division 23 Flotilla 23-6
Calvert County's
Volunteer Lifesavers

Donald M. Haskin, Flotilla Commander

Join Us!

Join us.

Waterway Watch

Waterway Watch

Boating Safety Tip of the Day
Digital Selective Calling

Have you enabled your DSC (Digital Selective Calling) Marine VHF Radio? Get an MMSI Number and connect your GPS to your marine radio. This technology could save your life.

Plan Your Day (or Mission) on the Water

Before you left the dock you should have done a few things. Not sure what they are? Even the coxswains of Auxiliary facilities have what they call a GAR checklist to complete that helps them establish risk. Risk is an important word when it applies to the safety of your voyage. You DO NOT want to take on more risk than you can handle and you DO NOT want to expose your guests or crew to risks that can endanger them. The captain or coxswain is after all responsible for the safety of the crew, passengers, and his vessel.

Float Plan

The VERY FIRST thing you should do is file a float plan with a friend or relative. The Coast Guard refers

Get the Float Plan

Get the Float Plan

to the float plan as “the worlds only Lifesaving Device on Paper.” You click on the image or the link and visit FloatPlan.org. Download a float Plan and fill it out and give it to someone that cares about you before you leave!

A float plan can save hours of wasted time by your family, friends, and your potential rescuers.  Even the Coast Guard Auxiliary facilities have patrol plans and check in to Coast Guard Radio Stations regularly. You should take a cellular telephone so you can check in with friends or relatives and a VHF marine radio to call for help if and when you need help!

Owners of hand-help computing devices and smart phones may obtain applications (apps) that allow them to create and email or share float plans. Creating a float plan is easier than ever before. Search your favorite app store for “float plan.”

The Weather, Tides, and Currents

It is obviously helpful to know what the weather is and what the weather will be! There are a number of places on the Internet to get this information. This page does not present the only sources of best weather information. This is a sampling to get you think seriously about boating safely and responsibly on the Chesapeake bay. Google can be used to get a general idea of the weather from day to day:

[gweather city="Solomons" country="US" temp="F" credit="0"]

There are are also various NOAA weather Internet sites to check like these. Explore each one:

It is very important that you understand how to use your weather radio functionality on your marine VHF radio. It also does not hurt to check the Coast Guard Notice to Mariners before you leave the dock.

Tides and Currents

It might be helpful to know what the tides are now and what they will be so you can understand how the the draft of your vessel will fair at various locations where the water tends to be shallow. It also might matter when you consider fuel consumption to know the current speed and direction, wind speed and direction and how those variables might change throughout the day. Some of the weather links above will have that information. At the very least you should consult a published tide table.

Safety Equipment Checklist

Develop a safety equipment checklist to make sure you have everything you need on board before you leave the dock. Check your navigation lights, spotlight(s), your engine, your batteries, steering, your bilge, your bilge pumps. your life saving equipment like vests and throw-able Type IV PFD’s.  Is your boat hook on board?  Is your craft small enough that an oar might be some help? Any buckets for nailing? Do you have extra engine parts like sheer pins, plugs, wires, clamps. Any extra navigation light bulbs and flashlights in your kit?

Do you have plenty of snacks and water on board for trips on hot days? Are you prepared for cold and inclement weather with cold weather survival gear? Flares, fire extinguishers, first aid kits, extra line for towing and so on.

Do yourself, your guests, and your family a BIG favor and have all your i’s dotted and t’s crossed. Before you go make sure you are ready to go.

Auxiliary Coxswains

Auxiliary coxswains may want to check these Internet links:

Coastal Waters Forecast

National Buoy Center

Tides and Currents

Lastly do not forget to complete your GAR with your entire crew. Our Flotilla uses the following GAR Form. Link to GAR Form.







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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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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!

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

The Drum Point Poll

The behaviors Maryland boaters need to change most.

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Chesapeake Chatter

The Division 23 Chesapeake Chatter is available at the Division 23 website.


The Blinker Newsletter is available at the Fabulous 5th Southern Website.


The weekly CGUAX Newsletter is available at SITREP.


THE RBS Department's newsletter WAVES - Watercraft and Vessel Safety is available at the RBS website.

eBeacon The CGAUXA eBeacon Magazine.


SafetySeal.net Newsletter

Uptop in Operations

UPTOP in Operations Newsletter

Navigator Magazine

Navigator Auxiliary Magazine

Interpreter News

Interpreter News

Education Connection

Education Connection

Wear it Maryland

Always wear your life jacket!

Always wear your life jacket!

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NOTICE/DISCLAIMER Links to non-Coast Guard entities are not under the control of the United States Coast Guard or the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, and are provided for the convenience of our customers. They do not, in any way, constitute an endorsement of the linked pages or any commercial or private issues or products presented there. We cannot make any warranty or representation concerning the content of these sites, or secondary sites from the pages to which they link.

Lightning Kills

Lightning Kills

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