Never over load your vessel. Check your capacity plate for maximum allowed weight. Evaluate your free board as cargo and passengers board the vessel. Is the load equally distributed fore and aft, port and starboard. Above all use common sense and do not take senseless risks.
Auxiliary coxswains and crew members of the Drum Point Flotilla perform Safety Patrols in AOR 14. Using their own vessels inspected and certified for patrols under Coast Guard regulations, members keep watch over local recreational areas.
Auxiliarists do not have law enforcement powers but we do ask or suggest that boaters observe boating laws and regulations. When boaters choose to ignore the Auxiliaries suggestions the Auxiliarist can call in the services of the active duty Coast Guard or local law enforcement authority. Meeting first with the Auxiliary gives the boater a chance to get it right the second time and avoid a citation.
Safety patrols also look for derelict vessels that are a threat to the environment, check the status of aids to navigation, and watch for suspicious activities near important geographic locations. (America’s Waterway Watch)
The Auxiliarist knows first hand how important it is to be safe while on the water. Your Auxiliarists assist the Coast Guard and local law enforcement in search and rescue operations. We don’t want anyone to become a statistic. That’s one reason we contact boaters breaking the rules and ask politley for compliance. It is a very unique role in public safety that we take seriously.
When might you be contacted by the Auxiliary or even the Coast Guard or law enforcement? The following are situations we watch for:
- Children without life jackets.
- Adults in small craft apparently without life jackets.
- Improper life jackets used on children.
- Bow riding. This is illegal in Maryland and VERY unsafe!
- Excessive wake in no wake zones.
- Unsafe speeds.
- Unsafe PWC operation including, unsafe towing, no lookout, reckless operation, operation in swimming areas.
Auxiliarists enjoy stopping to chat about boating safety with recreational boaters or commercial operators. When you see a patrol and you have a question by all means ask us. When we’re on shore tending to the vessel or having a bite to eat come over and meet us!
The Operational Ensign is flown on the official patrols of trained Auxiliarists interested in you and your safety on the water.