Monday, March 18, 2013

Coast Guard Auxiliary Safe Boating Class a Must for all Boaters!

The US Coast Guard Auxilliary Seal
As the longer, warmer days of spring and summer approach, the waterways and channels around Wrightsville Beach will see a proliferation of recreational boaters. While many are well versed in the rules of the road, boating safety, and all things nautical, unfortunately, a significant number are not. Since paddle boarding and kayaking continue to increase in popularity, it is imperative that those operating powerboats use common sense and courtesy when maneuvering their vessels. Teaching those points is one of the main objectives of the Coast Guard Auxiliary Boating Skills and Seamanship Class.

Within the last few years, a law was passed in N.C. that requires anyone under the age of 26 operating a powerboat to have completed this class. They are then required to carry their Boater Education Card as proof. Additionally, those operating personal watercraft or jet skis must have the class as well.

The local Coast Guard Auxiliary offers several classes throughout the year. Along with the basic boater safety class, there are also more advanced classes available. Some topics covered in the beginning class are:
  • Boat Handling
  • Correct Passing
  • Lines and knots
  • Navigation aides
  • Rules and regulations
  • Courtesy
  • Waterway markers
  • Safety equipment
The "About Boating Safety" class will next be offered on April 22. It includes 8 hours of instruction and the textbook-that's Monday and Thursday evening for 2 weeks, from 7pm until 9m. Cost for the class is $35. It will be held at the Fran Russ Recreation Center at 321 Causeway Drive. Other dates scheduled are June 10th and August 5th.

TBA - Hopefully, a paddle sports class will be scheduled that will focus on safety and instruction in kayaking, canoeing and other paddle sports. If it is the same format as last year, it will cost $30, and include an instructional booklet, passing certificate and paddle sport vessel identification sticker.

For more information, please contact: Andy Cardwell - the USCG Auxiliary Division Flotilla Commander at gacar@ec.rr.com.

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