With Thanksgiving behind us now, and Christmas and Chanukah around the corner, it’s a good time for all those who watch and wait for the return of those at sea to think about being the “safety officer” before they go. And, skipper, how about the love you have for those that go out to sea with you? Create the safest environment possible through these gift ideas:
From The Heart To The Head
There is no doubt that even the most grizzled seafarer can benefit from a boating safety class. Regulations do change over time and techniques get refined and advanced. The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Division 18 covers the East End from William Floyd Parkway to both forks. Want to find out what, where, and when are the latest boating safety classes? Head to www.wow.uscgaux.info.
From Stem To Stern
There is no greater service available than the free vessel safety check. And, this is not a regulatory event like getting your car inspected, way to ensure safety. The examiner will give you their cell phone number and ask you to call them when you’ve addressed any deficiencies. Want to schedule one? Head to www.wow.uscgaux.info.
Nothing Lighter – Or More Valuable
The statistics on life jackets are sobering for those that don’t use them. For every 16 boaters that go into the water without a life jackets, only one comes out, so supplying some is like giving the gift of life. What side do you want your boater to be on? The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary is also sponsoring a “Kids Don’t Float” program. Life jackets are left at various cooperating marinas to be borrowed for the day.
Carbon Monoxide Detector
If a boat has any enclosed spaces, each room needs a carbon monoxide detector. They cost on average $30 from any major retailer.
The Wireless ‘Kill Switch’
Every boat comes with a lanyard that is tied to the helmsman’s belt or life jacket, and also back to the ignition switch, but most never use them. If the helmsman falls overboard, the lanyard goes with him and the engine stops, giving the boater the chance to climb back aboard. Now, there are wireless lanyards on the market, so the helmsman can walk on board freely.
Other great gift ideas to help keep boaters safe include:
Emergency devices like flares, signal mirrors, whistles, etc.
Up-to-date navigational charts and/or a handheld GPS unit
Navigation tools and calculators
A hand-held VHF marine radio with extra batteries
Show your love for your boat, the crew, and its skipper.
If interested becoming a part of the United States Coast Guard, email me at [email protected]ol.com.