Kodiak Daily Mirror - Auxiliary to offer boating safety class identifies problems
  
Auxiliary to offer boating safety class, identifies problems
by Julie Herrmann
Jun 27, 2014 | 105 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
From right in orange: Drew Herman and Wes Hanna give boat inspections on Saturday, June 21. (Nicole Clark photo)
From right in orange: Drew Herman and Wes Hanna give boat inspections on Saturday, June 21. (Nicole Clark photo)
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A decal is applied to a boat after it passes a Coast Guard Auxiliary safety check on Saturday, June 21. (Nicole Clark photo)
A decal is applied to a boat after it passes a Coast Guard Auxiliary safety check on Saturday, June 21. (Nicole Clark photo)
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The Coast Guard Auxiliary offers a boating safety class for recreational boaters that can help those interested in becoming part of the auxiliary or who want moral, wellness & recreation privileges on base.

The class is eight hours long and will provide a wide variety of boating safety information.

“We’re really targeting recreational boaters,” said Wes Hanna, the Kodiak auxiliary flotilla commander and vessel examiner.

Participants will learn about trailering a boat, rules of the road, terminology equipment, recognizing and interpreting buoys and navigation aids, and emergency procedures.

The auxiliary celebrates 75 years this year.

The class will benefit Coast Guard members and those who have access to MWR privileges.

“They have quite a few boats out there that you can rent, take fishing and return,” Hanna said. “It’s a great program, but they do require a safety course.”

For those who want to join the Coast Guard auxiliary, this class is a step in that direction, as boating safety classes are required.

One of the most common safety problems among boats Hanna has inspected is with emergency flares.

“Usually what I see is expired flares,” Hanna said. “Boats have gotten flares a few years back and, thankfully, have never had to use them, and then they’ve expired in the meantime.”

One thing Kodiakans are doing well is having enough lifejackets on their boats. Not having enough is a common problem with recreational boaters.

“Those boats typically do have enough,” Hanna said, “The community’s pretty good about that.”

However, actually wearing lifejackets is another thing.

“The regulation that the Coast Guard enforces just says that the vessel has to have a serviceable life jacket available and accessible for everybody on board, but does not require them to be worn,” said Drew Herman, public relations for the auxiliary. “I think people interpret that the wrong way.”

In upcoming weeks, boaters can expect more classes, including longer ones with more advanced skills, and paddle vessel inspections for kayaks and canoes on the Fourth of July.

“We’re going to have a couple examiners at the ramps downtown at St. Herman Harbor,” Herman said. “Anyone who’s out there launching their kayaks, we’ll be trying to get their attention and offer these free exams. No tickets or fines.”

Interested people can sign up for this weekend’s class by contacting Herman at 942-7334 or foobidy@hotmail.com. This weekend’s class is $40 for civilians and $35 for auxiliary members and active duty military and runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. It will be in the Pacific Cod Room in building N-27 at the Coast Guard base, and there will be a test at the end. Participants should bring an ID with them and plan for extra time to go through base security.

Contact Julie Herrmann at jherrmann@kodiakdailymirror.com.

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