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Coast Guard Auxiliary recommends to boaters: Know before you go     Send a link to a friend

Fall is an ideal time to improve your boating safety education

[SEPT. 30, 2006]  WASHINGTON -- As boating season winds down for many, the Coast Guard Auxiliary urges America's boaters to start thinking about taking one of the courses offered by the auxiliary to enhance boating skills.

Courses offered range from the most basic boating safety course to advanced navigation. These courses are offered all across America by local units of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, which are called flotillas.

For non-boaters who might someday find themselves out with a boating friend who is suddenly incapacitated, the three-hour Suddenly In Command course provides the non-boater with enough information to deal with an emergency that incapacitates the captain of a recreational boat, such as getting help by radio, what to do in case of fire, boat basics, using life jackets, how to survive if in the water, avoiding collisions while at the helm, the dangers of carbon monoxide and how to get help other than by radio.

America's Boating Course and Boating Skills and Seamanship generally satisfy state boater education requirements and, in that they are given in person by auxiliarists with years of boating experience, offer boaters wisdom gleaned from hundreds and sometimes thousands of hours on the water.

For boaters wishing to learn principles of navigation, courses range from the basic How To Read A Nautical Chart, to GPS for Mariners, to the advanced Weekend Navigator course.

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To find about boating courses nearby, the auxiliary encourages boaters to go on the Internet to

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed, volunteer component of the Coast Guard team. The auxiliary assists the active-duty Coast Guard in all of its varied missions, except for military and direct law enforcement. These men and women can be found on the nation's waterways, in the air, in classrooms and on the dock, performing maritime domain awareness patrols, safety patrols, vessel safety checks and public education.

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary was founded in 1939 by an act of Congress as the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve and redesignated as the auxiliary in 1941. Its over 31,000 members donate millions of hours annually in support of Coast Guard missions.

[U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary news release]


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