Friday, May 09, 2008
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Not all boating accidents happen on the water

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[May 09, 2008]  LOS ANGELES -- Some boating accidents occur while transiting to and from the water and quite frequently on the launch ramp. The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary says, "A successful boating outing begins when you leave home and ends when you safely return home." Since the majority of recreational boats in the United States are transported to and from the water, it is important that boaters take as much care transporting their boat, whether it be a power boat, sailboat, paddle craft or personal water craft, as they do operating their boat on the water.  [U.S. Navy photo]

RestaurantWhen it comes to trailered boats, nine out of 10 trailering malfunctions and accidents can be directly traced back to a failure to dedicate some time to the most basic preventive maintenance. Wheel bearings, suspension parts, lights and a host of other components require constant attention to help ensure any trailering trip is smooth and hassle-free. Special attention to the tow vehicle’s hitch is a good idea, as that is the only link between the tow vehicle and trailer.

Also consider the fact that one needs a special license and classification to drive things like motorcycles, school buses and vehicles with air brakes, such as semitrailers and gravel trucks. But just about anyone can go out and buy a $30,000 boat and trailer, attach it to their car ... and simply drive away.  No special training is required beforehand and no special license classification is needed. Anyone who has ever hauled a boat around for a number of years knows that it may not be too difficult to drive in a straight line at low speeds. But when it comes to things like driving at highway speeds, passing other vehicles, high winds and backing up ... the task becomes much more difficult than one might think. 

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Safety tips for trailering, pre-launching preparations, launching, retrieval and boat storing are provided online by the U.S. Coast Guard Office of Boating Safety at

For more potentially lifesaving information, along with how to take a boating safety course or get a free vessel safety check from the Coast Guard Auxiliary, visit

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed civilian component of the U.S. Coast Guard. Created by an act of Congress in 1939, the auxiliary directly supports the Coast Guard in all missions, except military and direct law enforcement actions. The Coast Guard Auxiliary is an integral part of the U.S. Coast Guard. For more information, visit If you are ready to join, visit

[Text from file received from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary


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