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Boating Safe – The buildup to National Safe Boating Week continues

Joe DiRenzo

This week we continue the build up to the 2006 National Safe Boating Campaign by looking at some of the activities that the web site SafeBoatingCampaign.com provides for free.

One part of this year’s campaign that I think is especially well done are the easily reprinted Boating Safety Activities, which are billed as &uot;Education and Fun With A Purpose&uot;.

This year, 11 different activity sheets are provided, each is easily downloaded. These activity sheets can be found at www.art4use.com/06campaign/06-campaign/web-content/activity.htm.

This week I want to focus on the sheet that discusses the requirements for the Naval Vessel Protection Zone (NVPZ). The activity suggests cutting out two boats and using the piece of yarn that represents the two distances involved when recreational boats come near Naval Vessels.

Currently the NVPZ has two distinct &uot;rings&uot;. At 500 yards from a naval vessel you must come to bare steerage way (minimum speed), while you cannot come within 100 yards.

The activity sheet provides an easy way to teach this idea.

You can also download, from the SafeBoatCampaign.com the U.S. Coast Guard’s NVPZ Information Flyer that provides a large number of details. This information flyer re-enforces a key point of the sheet that states, &uot;recreational boating is fun but along with fun comes responsibility – a responsibility to operate your boat in a safe manner while overseeing the safety of your passengers.&uot;

The second activity that this sheet provides is a word game. Take the eight words, as listed below and re-arrange them. Then place in each order.

This activity re-enforces the importance of following the Naval Vessel Protection Zone.

The other activity sheets provided on the National Safe Boating Campaign are equally important. We’ll review another next week.

Until then…Boat Safe, Boat Smart, and if you haven’t considered giving blood this spring, you should. Both the Military Blood Bank and the Red Cross would love to talk with you!

Joe DiRenzo III is a retired Coast Guard officer and former Cutter Commanding Officer. A five-winner of the Coast Guard’s JOC Alex Haley Award, he is a nationally published writer on Maritime Homeland Security.