Boating Safely – Check out a boating Safety course
Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 24, 2003
This past weekend I observed a boater on the Nansemond River operating a boat with a large dog in his arms. A dog! This individual probably figured that this wasn’t an issue, maybe he drives a car that way, but there is a problem, a big one. This action could directly effect the safe operation of a boat.
I am going to go out on a limb with this individual. The operator probably didn’t know any better. This boater had not completed any formal training. They probably had not attended a safe boating course.
Fortunately for every recreational boater in the News-Herald’s circulation area, the local Coast Guard Auxiliary offers a wide range of courses. There is one for every need from simple boating basics, to advanced sailing.
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According to the local Coast Guard Auxiliary’s web site here is a sample of the type of courses offered:
Seminar Courses (completed in one day)
Boating Fun – Adventure on the Water to teach the basic safety concepts to children in grades K-3. If you have young children as passengers this course is a must. The time you don’t want to teach a second grader what to do is not after an accident has occurred.
Waypoints – A Guide to Boating Safely for older children and youths in grades 4-6. This course is geared to a more reflective audience. It really challenges the student.
Personal Watercraft for those who want a brief, very basic introduction to the safety issues involved when operating a PWC.
Navigating with GPS. This course teaches the basics of one of the most important pieces of equipment on your vessel.
Multi-Lesson Courses (Completed over a series of days)
Boating Safely. This course is a must for any operator. It is oriented toward hunters, anglers, skiers and operators of PWCs.
Boating Skills and Seamanship. This course is even more comprehensive then Boating Safely and is gear for both beginning and experienced power boaters.
Sailing and Seamanship. This course teaches the basics of sailing, from understanding the wind to how to anchor. If you own a sailboat, consider taking this course.
Basic Coastal Navigation. This course is a must for those that want to go off shore and introduces the basics of coastal piloting.
Advanced Coastal Navigation. This is the graduate level course, designed for serious boaters who want to learn piloting techniques.
Besides course work that is completed in a classroom setting there is even a &uot;distance learning&uot; programs.
The &uot;America’s Boating Course&uot; has been developed towards sportsmen, and beginning boaters who need to complete a home study program.
All the specifics dates and times are available on the Web site.
Go to: http://www.uscgaux.org/~054/vaclass.html
Next week I will focus on the Boating Safely course and specifically what’s offered.
Until next week, Boat safe…and boat smart!