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First District Public Affairs
News Release
Date: January 12, 2012

Contact: First District Public Affairs
(617) 223-8515

(*Note: is in Coast Guard District 5, however we also have increased interest in paddling and in 2011  had the highest number of boating fatalities since 1992. This information is timely and relevant.)

1st District 2011 Boating Fatalities Statistics

1st District 2011 Boating Fatalities Statistics

BOSTON — Recreational boating and paddling fatalities on waters of the northeastern U.S. have remained nearly the same for the second year in a row.

The 1st Coast Guard District recorded a preliminary total of 51 deaths during 2011. There were 50 fatalities in 2009 and 51 fatalities in 2010. Capsizing or falling overboard while not wearing a were the main factors resulting in fatalities.

Boating fatalities were divided between 29 deaths on motorized vessels and 22 deaths on non-motorized vessels.

Due to the tremendous growth in kayaking over the past decade, and the long-standing interest in , northeastern paddle-sport fatalities are typically double the national average.

Out of the 51 deaths last year, 44 of the boaters were not wearing lifejackets.

“Lifejackets save lives”, said Walt Taylor, specialist, 1st Coast Guard District “Take a boating education course, ensure you have all the required to have a safe and fun boating season next year.”

One memorable case in 2011 involved the of N.Y. Police Department officer Patrick Luca who drowned while kayaking with his son off Long Island (Click here for original release). The high-profile nature of the case captured public interest and emphasized the significance of simple decisions, like wearing a life jacket.

“It’s extremely important to get these statistics out,” said Lt. Joe Klinker, 1st Coast Guard District public affairs officer. “But it’s even more important for all of us to realize that these aren’t just numbers. They were friends, parents, spouses, sons and daughters. They were neighbors in a very close maritime community.”

While the Coast Guard continues to deliver the message of safe boating, this year, said Klinker, the Coast Guard is making a special plea to the friends and families of all boaters: Hold your loved ones accountable and make sure they take the right steps to come home safe.


For a geographic breakdown and overall numbers of incidents and fatalities in 2011, click here.

For boating safety information, click here.

As the Coast Guard records the national statistics for 2011, the 2010 information is available here.

Safe-boating courses are available through the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Power Squadrons. Course information may be found at:

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary
U.S. Power Squadrons
U.S. Coast Guard Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety
National Association of State Boating Law Administrators


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

First, attract as much attention as possible as fast as you can. I never go on a boat without a , knife, and . The life jacket is first and foremost. The light and the are to attract attention.

Auxiliarist Vincent Pica writes via The Auxiliary blog. Read the entire article here:  Man Overboard! « Coast Guard Auxiliary Live.

I have seen a number of Google searches for the CGAUX WOW theme that directed searchers here to DrumPoint.org. This is the home of the CGAUX WOW theme. A similar version is now in use at flotilla85.com.

If you are the CS officer for an Auxiliary flotilla or other Auxiliary site webmaster and you would like a version of the theme, one can be created for you at no cost. The theme is not available for use on private WordPress sites. It was designed, based on the CS guidelines at the time, to come close to matching the look and feel of the WOW templates and WOW sites in use by the offical sites of the Auxiliary.

Please send your request to the webmaster via the Contact Tab above or email fso-cs at drumpoint.org. Your name and email address will be compared to the Auxiliary officer data before a copy of the theme is sent.

in your request please indicate your district, division, and flotilla as well as your flotilla name. This information appears in the header. If there is a specific header image that you would like used that should also be sent with your request. An image will be selected for you if no image is provided. You can then change the image yourself at a later time. The current theme is three columns wide.

Once you obtain the theme there are things you need to do to “wake it up.” (There is work to do.) In order to use the new side menu functionality you must create a side menu at your WordPress site and activate it. You must also choose your plugins. District 54 PA and CS officers may request access to the District 54 PA Site where some helpful WordPress information is available. Should the number of requests warrant a private forum may be used to provide support.

Doug Smith
Drum Point Flotilla

U.S. Auxiliary Public Affairs
Date: October 13, 2011
Contact: Penny Bailey
Public Affairs
Phone:: 417-425-6155
[email protected]
News Release
Washington – Cold boaters need protection from hypothermia, both on deck and in the event of falling overboard. Cold water shortens in-water survival time, making a quick rescue essential. Fortunately, you have options whether you hunt, fish, or cruise on cold water. Choose the right gear to increase your chances of surviving a cold- mishap.

1. Flotation Coat
Flotation coats provide warmth and double as a should the wearer fall in the water. Float coats are recommended for boaters who boat year-round in locales with moderate air temperatures and cold water. If you boat in extremely cold temperatures, a flotation coat will not protect you from hypothermia if you fall into the water.

2. Immersion or Survival Suit
boating calls for hardy gear. Survival suits protect you from the elements, and provide flotation and hypothermia protection if you enter the water. Wearing a survival suit can increase survival time in cold water.

Dry suits can be instantly drawn tight to prevent water from entering, Appropriate thermal layers worn beneath the dry suit provide insulation and they are not buoyant. Dry suits are suitable for intentional entry into the water, but provide no passive protection if you fall in.

5. Personal Position Locator Beacon
Otherwise known as a PLB, a personal position locator beacon is a scaled down version of the Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (). When immersed in water or manually activated both EPIRBs and PLBs transmit a signal that allows rescuers to pinpoint your location.

6. Personal Emergency Locator Light
An emergency light worn and activated if a person is in the water can attract the attention of rescuers, providing a much more visible target than your head in the water. The bright, flashing light increases the chances of being spotted by rescuers or a passing boater.

7. Flares
Store hand held and/or parachute flares in immersion suit pockets, secured with a lanyard. Study their instructions before you need them.

Attracting attention will increase your chances of surviving in the water. Whistles are a cheap and simple way to make noise without exhausting yourself. Rescuers are trained to turn off the boat engines and listen for a period of time while they are on missions, or a nearby boater may hear the signal. Conventional whistles don’t work if the “pea” inside is wet, so choose a waterproof model.

Common sense can also increase your chances of survival in . Dress in layers to provide maximum protection and warmth. Technical fibers provide thermal protection and won’t absorb water. Include a hat to protect your head from heat loss. Wear gloves.

Don’t be tempted to skip proper cold weather clothing and gear. Be sure to wear a life jacket and hypothermia protection when boating in the cold.

The Auxiliary is the uniformed volunteer component of the created by an Act of Congress in 1939. The Auxiliary, America’s Volunteer , supports the Coast Guard in nearly all of the service’s missions. For more information about the Coast Guard Auxiliary visit http://www.cgaux.org


5th District Public Affairs
U.S. Coast Guard
News Release
Date: Aug 31, 2011

Contact: Sector North Carolina
(910) 343-3876

WILMINGTON, N.C. — Coast Guard reminds boaters to boat smart this holiday weekend after Hurricane Irene passed through the area.

Mariners should use caution when transiting the waterways due to the extensive damage to aids to navigation, shifting shoals, swift currents and the increased presence of debris and other hazards to navigation from the storm.

The Coast Guard along with federal, state and local agencies responded to more than 440 search and cases in North Carolina’s waters since October.

Some of the cases included: 36 medevacs, 63 boats taking on water or capsized, 62 cases involving reports of people in the water, numerous flare sightings, vessels aground and uncorrelated maydays.

The Coast Guard asks boat operators to take preventative measures to ensure their own safety, safety of passengers and other boaters while on the water.

Being educated about safe boating could save a life. Most occur on boats where the operator had not completed a boating safety education course. Courses given by the and the U.S. Power Squadrons cover many aspects of boating safety, from boat handling to reading the weather.

According to Coast Guard in 2009, 85 percent of those who drowned were not wearing their . In an emergency, there is no time to put on a , so wearing one at all times is very important.

Another aspect of boating safety is not operating a boat under the influence. Just as deadly as drinking and driving, it is also illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs in every state. There are stringent penalties for violating BUI/BWI laws, which can include large fines, suspension or revocation of boat operator privileges and jail terms.

In an effort to reduce the number of incidents on the water and to increase the safety of people on the water, the Coast Guard recommends the following:

• 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, gives a complete vessel description, and details your destination and when you plan to return. Float plans aid rescuers in identifying a search area in the event of an emergency while on the water.

• Be sure to check the local weather prior to departing the dock. Weather can change very rapidly and boaters should keep a watchful eye on the forecasted conditions.

• The Coast Guard urges mariners to outfit their boat with a functioning marine-band radio as cell phones are typically an unreliable source of communication due to gaps in coverage and limited battery life. Using channel 16 on a marine-band radio is the most reliable way to communicate a distress to search and rescue personnel in the event of an emergency while on the water.

To report debris in the waterways contact Coast Guard at 910-343-3880.

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

U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary www.cgaux.org <http://www.cgaux.org/>

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

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

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

Kayaking and now paddle boarding have become very popular . That intimate relationship between body and vessel, the paddle and the water,  has motivated thousands to take up the s ports. reporters for news organizations are writing about the phenomena which is nice; however, there are from some of the . These omissions indirectly may contribute to a poor understanding of paddling safety.

The Coast Guard, in 2008, specified that paddle boards, like kayaks, are considered vessels. This was important because it meant that ALL paddle boarders in US waters were required to have a readily available, an audible device like a whistle, and if paddling at night a capable of a white beam.

Reporters that publish pictures of paddle boarders with no life jacket on board are not telling the whole story.  Likewise when the required for the sport is not mentioned the story is incomplete.

You are not alone, this article is not intended to demean or demand. Even the Coast Guard and have some catching up to do. A search of official sources for a file photo of a paddle boarding enthusiast yielded nothing. Perhaps if the Coast Guard had file photos of more paddlers with their safety equipment it would help generate accurate press articles for the .

Write the stories but get the facts. Take the pictures and publish photos that tell the story.

You are more likely to drown if you are not wearing a life jacket. The sheer number of paddlers is going to make this truth very apparent unless every paddler gets the word and soon. Anecdotal observations are that most paddle boarders are unaware or are intentionally non-compliant with safety regulations. The can help the Coast Guard get the word out to those that are unaware.

Boating safety is our mission. Publishing the news is yours. Let’s get our missions done together by making sure the public has the facts about the paddle sports.

urges for holiday weekend

WILMINGTON, N.C. — Due to a high number of water related deaths in June, the Coast Guard urges boaters and beachgoers to be safe and prepared for the holiday weekend.

Even though the average number of boating related deaths has dropped both nationally and regionally trends show that numbers rise during the summer months.

“There is a certain element of risk when you go boating, and there are inherent dangers to swimming in tidal waters,” said Dennis Sens, Coast Guard 5th District specialist. “As more people consider heading to the water, they should also consider how to be safe on it.”

Being educated about safe boating could save a life. Most boating fatalities occur when the boat operator has not completed a boating safety education course. Courses cover many aspects of boating safety, from to reading the .

The Coast Guard also urges boaters to obtain a free vessel safety check, which is conducted by the before heading out on the water. Vessel safety checks are courtesy examinations of your vessel, verifying the presence and condition of certain safety equipment required by state and federal regulations.

“Just as you practice defensive driving on the road, you need to do so just as much, if not more, on the water,” said Sens. “Be aware of your surroundings and react accordingly, especially at night, in bad weather, or when there are many more boaters on the water. It’s critical to be mindful of navigation.”

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

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary: http://www.cgaux.org/

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

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

: http://www.safeboatingcouncil.org/

United States Lifesaving Association’s Top Ten Beach and Water Safety Tips: http://www.usla.org/?page=SAFETYTIPS

Media interested in interviewing a Coast Guard representative should contact Lt. Kevin Sullivan of at 910-343-3876.

R 221632Z JUN 11

ALCOAST 302/11










5th District Public Affairs
U.S. Coast Guard
News Release
Date: Jun 14, 2011

Contact: 5th District Public Affairs
(757) 398-6272

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – A recreational boating fatality in Ocean City, Md., on Saturday was the ninth death in two weeks in mid-Atlantic waters.

The frequency of these fatalities in such a short time span represents a grim start to the summer beach and boating season.

Though the locations and circumstances leading to these recent accidents vary, they all underscore two important lessons about enjoying time on or near the water: Always take the necessary precautions and

“There is a certain element of risk when you go boating and there are inherent dangers to swimming in tidal waters,” said Dennis Sens, Coast Guard 5th District Recreational Boating Safety Specialist. “As more people consider heading to the water, they should also consider how to be safe on it.”

The recent spike in deaths began May 30 with the drowning of a 42-year-old man on the James River who jumped in the water from a sailboat. He was not wearing a life jacket. Neither were two other recent boating fatalities, including a Virginia sailor who drowned near the mouth of the while sailing alone on June 4 and Saturday’s death in Maryland, which occurred after the victim’s pleasure craft capsized at the mouth of Ocean City Inlet.

According to Coast Guard statistics, drownings like these were the cause of 75 percent of all boating deaths in 2010. Of those who drowned, 88 percent were not wearing life jackets.

Other deadly incidents in the last two weeks underscore the importance of boaters maintaining a keen awareness of environmental conditions and vessel traffic.

Two people were killed in a nighttime incident June 3 when their 25-foot speedboat struck a sea wall near on the . Another accident claimed the life of a recreational fisherman on June 7 when his 15- capsized after a collision with a commercial fishing vessel on Virginia’s Elizabeth River.

“Just as you practice defensive driving on the road, you need to do so just as much, if not more, on the water,” explained Sens. “Be aware of your surroundings and react accordingly, especially at night, in bad , or when there are many more boaters on the water. It’s critical to be mindful of navigation.”

Sens added that boating safety classes teach such lessons, and that the Coast Guard Auxiliary offers free vessel safety checks  to assess and help educate boaters on required .

However, dangers in and around the water are not limited to boaters. In the last two weeks the Coast Guard responded to three separate incidents in which hazardous tides and currents played a deadly role. On May 31 a 9-year-old boy died after getting caught in a rip current at the Virginia Beach oceanfront. Rip currents also claimed the life of a 15-year-old swimmer at Bradley Beach, N.J., on June 9.

According to the , rip currents are responsible for more than 100 drownings every year in this country. Dangerous currents are not restricted to beaches, either. On June 8, a 47-year-old man and his young nephew were swept away by a fast current in the Chester River in Maryland. The boy was rescued, but his uncle drowned.

Again, said Sens, caution, knowledge and awareness can make the difference between life and death. Be careful of the dangers of swimming in tidal waters, especially if unfamiliar with them; learn the signs of rip currents; and know how to escape them: Stay calm, and rather than swim against the rip current, let it carry you out and then swim parallel to the shore and back in to safety.

Precautions such as these do not preclude having a good time. But since swimming and boating do come with risks, balance safety with fun and prevent the loss of an additional life this summer.


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

Ninth District External Affairs
U.S. Coast Guard
News Release
Date: June 8, 2011

Contact: Ninth Coast Guard District Public Affairs Office
(216) 902-6020

CLEVELAND — The tragic death of a 19-year-old Tuesday night near the Apostle Islands in Lake Superior, is a reminder to enthusiasts of the importance of life-saving equipment and safe boating practices.

The man, whose name and hometown are not being released, was paddling with three other people when his kayak reportedly capsized, sending him into the 49-degree water of Little Sand Bay.

The other three men went to shore and used a to call for help at 5:33 p.m. CST and reported they had lost sight of the fourth man.

A boatcrew aboard a 25-foot Response Boat-Small from Coast Guard Station Bayfield, Wisc., immediately launched to search the area and found the missing man unresponsive in Little Sand Bay at about 8 p.m., with a blue and the bottom half of a wetsuit on. His friends reported that, when they last saw him, he was wearing the life jacket, swim trunks and a t-shirt and carrying the wetsuit when he got underway.

The fact that he was found with his wetsuit only halfway on leads responders to believe he was attempting to don the wetsuit after he entered the water, said Chief Petty Officer James Robertson, officer-in-charge of Station Bayfield. Robertson added that the boatcrew only saw him once they were relatively close, because his blue life jacket made him blend in with the color of the water.

The boatcrew pulled the man out of the water and performed CPR on him while they transported him to shore where emergency medical technicians were waiting.

A medical examiner later pronounced him deceased.

The cause of the accident remains under investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  For more information about the status of the investigation, contact Mark Little at 715-635-4112.

“As part of our search and rescue philosophy, we treat every person who is potentially in distress as we would a member of our own family,” said Jerry Popiel, assistant chief of incident management for the Ninth Coast Guard District. “So we also grieve the loss of any boater and express our sincere condolences to the family. Our hope is that the visibility of this incident will serve to remind other waterway users, particularly paddlers, to take all reasonable safety precautions to guard against the dangers inherent with our Great Lakes.”

The Coast Guard urges all paddlers to dress for the water temperature, as opposed to the air temperature at all times while underway, and to always wear a brightly-colored life jacket to increase the chance of being found quickly following an accident. Although air temperatures across the Great Lakes region have risen significantly during the past few weeks, the water is still dangerously cold in many areas, including Lake Superior. Proper attire greatly increases survivability in the event of an accident.

Paddlers are also encouraged to take courses each year before going out onto the water. Many courses are offered throughout the country for all types of recreational boaters and for boaters of all ages. Qualified volunteer organizations, such as the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Power Squadron, and state boating agencies sponsor many courses and provide classes.  Many of the courses are free.

Click here for a resource to help you find boating safety courses put on by the Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Click here for help in finding other boating safety course resources, including those offered by state boating agencies.

Additional paddlesport safety tips are available here.


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

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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

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The behaviors Maryland boaters need to change most.

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