Apr
10

Coast Guard Auxiliary Vessel Safety Check

By

Article By Rhonda Moziy

On Saturday, April 9th NACK had some very special guests from the Coast Guard Auxiliary join us for an enlightening and informative presentation. This special event took place at Town of Babylon Sport Fishing Education Center (Cedar Beach Marina), Ocean Parkway in Babylon

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Two members from Division One Bayshore/Babylon Coast Guard Auxiliary,  Mark Stone and George Barnes, were on hand discussing important safety measures when kayaking. The following were imperative points to always remember.

  • The most important rule they spoke about was to always WEAR YOUR PERSONAL FLOATATION DEVICE (PFD). Wearing your lifejacket will help keep your head above water and add insulation to your body, keeping you warmer in cold water.
  • Tell someone your float plan, which includes: where you are going, what you will be doing, how long you expect to be gone and how many people are in your party. Then stick to your plan.
  • Stay hydrated. Always bring plenty of water and food.
  • Before paddling, check on tides and currents, shoreline conditions, weather patterns and water temperature.
  • Marine VHF radios versus a cellular phone. The VHF radio gives greater amount of coverage to a wider range of people as opposed to one-to-one only contact.   This extensive coverage ensures a distress call will be heard and responded to by the Coast Guard. A marine VHF radio also allows you to listen to weather forecasts and severe storm warnings from NOAA, giving you time to get to shore ahead of a storm.  When using a VHF radio, call on channel 16 and use Distress signal “MAYDAY”, spoken three times. Try to give position of your kayak by distance to a well-known landmark.
  • Kayaks and canoes must carry a minimum of three visual distress signals. Night signals include red flares, either handheld or aerial.
  • Vessel identification stickers can save the Coast Guard a great deal of time and effort when they find a canoe, kayak or standup paddleboard adrift with no paddler and no identifying information. Without these stickers the Coast Guard must assume that a person is missing and in distress, and that requires a full-scale search and rescue. Plus, it dramatically improves your chances of getting your boat back.

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We were also shown how to download a Coast Guard Phone App   It’s available for both iPhone or Android and it lets you create a float plan and email it to family or friends.  Of course this app is free to all boaters and you’re strongly encouraged to use it.

Coast Guard App

 

Mark and George spoke about how the Coast Guards offer mariner training and certification standards for recreational boating safety. Afterwards, they took us outside and provided boat inspections to those of us who brought our kayaks.  After total inspection, Steve and John were proudly given a Coast Guard Seal of Approval.

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The delicious lunch afterwards was superb. We sat down to two big huge hero sandwiches, one was American and the other was Italian. Potato salads, potato chips and other side delicacies kept our plates full. We had beverages galore and assorted cookies. Best of all, our great camaraderie is the essence of our club.

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We once again wish to thank our Coast Guard guests Mark Stone and George Barnes for educating us with pertinent information to make sure that we all stay safe while navigating the waters.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary is about fellowship, education and safety. The US Coast Guard was established well over 200 hundred years ago and became a unit of national defense, one of the five branches of the Armed Forces. Today, people have become more aware of an array of their many responsibilities extending far beyond military defense. Their many vessels comprise not only boats, but airplanes, helicopters and other equipment. Thousands of non-military, volunteer personnel are part of their daily functions. Search and rescue (SAR) helping boaters in distress, saving people who may have underestimated the dangers of the open seas is just one of the Coast Guard’s oldest missions.  Watching the coastlands of the United States and protecting the numerous waterways, harbors, ports, intercepting drug smugglers, enforcing fishery laws, stopping unauthorized ocean dumping, preventing oil and chemical spills and maintaining maritime aids to navigation, signs, symbols, buoys, markers, light houses, and public education make-up some of their many important tasks.

For more information or to volunteer with the Coast Guard Auxiliary, you can follow this link http://www.cgaux.org/

___Rhonda Moziy

Categories : Announcements

Comments

  1. Lynne says:

    Rhonda, wonderful article! Always look forward to reading them.
    Regarding USCG approved devices, check out this website: https://siriussignal.com. “The SOS Distress Light is the first and ONLY LED Visual Distress Signal Device that meets U.S. Coast Guard requirements to completely replace traditional pyrotechnic flares. Unlike traditional flares, this electric flare never expires which solves the challenge of flare disposal.” I have lots of expired flares that I don’t know what to do with! This seems like a good solution. I’m considering buying one.

  2. Troy says:

    Nice job on the article Rhonda. Thanks.

    Paul, I think three are required when “pyrotechnic devises” (flares) are selected as your “visual signaling device”. If you choose to carry a different type devise,(electric light, flag, mirror, etc.) then I believe just one is the min. required. Incidentally, manually powered vessels only require visual signaling devises at night. Of course, I like having a little more than the minimum required. My intent is only for you to avoid ordering gear unnecessarily.
    Scroll to page 17 in this booklet:

    http://www.uscgboating.org/images/420.PDF

  3. Rhonda says:

    Thanks Paul, appreciate it, just re-check about the distress signals, what you already have might be OK. Looking forward to seeing you at the paddle trip.

  4. Paul V says:

    As always a great article Rhonda clear, concise, informative and a joy to read!
    Sorry I could not be there.
    Did not know we needed three types of distress signals.
    Amazon here I come, again.

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