As a kick-off to National Safe Boating Week, May 17 to 23, the Coast Guard Auxiliary recently conducted vessel safety checks of the patrol vessels at Coast Guard Station Woods Hole, at the request of Senior Chief Justin Longval, officer in charge. Jeffrey Thomas of Teaticket, the operations staff officer for the Woods Hole Flotilla, met active duty personnel dockside to check three vessels. Each boat passed with flying colors and received the vessel safety check decal, which demonstrates that all required safety equipment is on board and operating correctly.
The Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotillas of the Cape and Islands will also be conducting free vessel safety checks at local marinas throughout the boating season. On Saturday, May 17, auxiliary members will participate in the second annual Red Brook Harbor Boat Show at Kingman Yacht Center from 9 AM until 5 PM, distributing information and discussing safety requirements with the public. On June 21, auxiliary vessel examiners will return to Kingman to perform free vessel safety checks for recreational boaters. Future dates will be announced for safety checks at Pier 37 in Falmouth and Little River Boat Yard and Mashpee Neck Marina in Mashpee. Boaters wishing to schedule a check for their vessel may file a request online at http://cgaux.org/vsc/.
Vessel safety checks can be conducted dockside or on land at a storage facility, launching ramp or the vessel owner’s property. A safety check usually takes 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the boat. The vessel owner has an opportunity to discuss the purpose of the marine safety equipment, to clarify various federal, state and local boating requirements, to ask boating-related safety questions and to seek additional boater education. Some of the topics covered include accident reporting, charts and aids to navigation, fueling/fuel management, float plans, weather and sea conditions and boating safety classes.
The Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed component of the US Coast Guard and supports the Coast Guard in nearly all mission areas. The auxiliary was created by Congress in 1939.