Coast Guard prepares for boating season

TICONDEROGA - As the weather around the country gets warmer and with the increase in daylight hours more boaters are getting out on the water.

Before hitting the water, the Coast Guard Auxiliary urges boaters to make sure they have the required safety equipment and that it is in working order by taking advantage of a free vessel safety check.

Vessel checks by a qualified auxiliary member are the best way of learning about problems that might be a violation of state and federal laws and provide the boating public with additional safety tips that could possibly eliminate preventable danger on the water. These checks can be conducted on any type of watercraft.

Aside from being prepared for an emergency, a vessel check from the auxiliary will not incur any penalties associated with not passing. Those who do pass will be able to display this years vessel safety check decal on their boat. Call 585-9034 for vessel inspections.

"Now is also a great time to take advantage of a boating safety course offered by the Coast Guard Auxiliary to become reacquainted with basic boating skills, seamanship and the most recent rules and regulations that may save a life or prevent an accident," added Bob Vannier of the Coast Guard Auxiliary Bridge Flotilla.

The Ticonderoga town board has adopted a resolution in support of safe boating week.

It reads:

"In Conjunction with Flotilla 15-13 of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, an organization dedicated to promoting boating safety, I proclaim the following:

"Whereas almost a quarter of boating fatalities are from non-motorized boats; and

"Whereas over two thirds of boating accident deaths are from drowning, and

"Whereas 90 percent of those who drowned were not wearing a life jacket; and

"Whereas three out of four drowning victims were from boats less than 21 feet long; and

"Whereas 75 percent of canoe and kayak deaths occur when the boater is alone; and

'Whereas only 14 percent of deaths occurred on boats where the operator had taken a boating safety instruction;

"Therefore I proclaim May 16-22, 2009, Safe Boating Week in the Ticonderoga Area, reminding boaters, especially those who operate canoes, kayaks, and small boats, to take a course to learn their sport, to operate with a companion, and to always, always, wear their life jackets.

"Robert C. Dedrick, Supervisor, Town of Ticonderoga, NY"

For more information contact the Coast Guard Auxiliary at 585-2128.

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