Coast Guard to offer course in Ticonderoga

TICONDEROGA - An eight-hour America's Boating Course will be offered by the U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 15-13 1SR at the Ticonderoga Elks Lodge, 5 Tower Avenue, on Saturday, Oct. 3, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Registration begins at 8 a.m.

The one-day course includes lessons on navigating the waterways, requirements for safety equipment, safe trailering practices and common terminology as well as other topics of interest to the boater.

The course and proctored examination meets the approved Boating Safety Class requirement for all PWC operators in New York State. Certificates will be presented upon completion of the course.

Course size is limited to 20 students on a first-come basis. Students under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult. The minimum age for taking the course is ten years. Cost is $35 a student ($45 for student and immediate relative/spouse sharing text book), which includes all course expenses and lunch.

Make checks payable to USCG Aux Flotilla 15-13-1SR. Pre-registration is required so call David Carr at 597-3664 before Oct. 1 to enroll.

The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary has expressed concern over a rise in recreational boating fatalities in a released publication of the 2008 boating safety statistics.

The fatality rate, a measure of the number of deaths against the number of registered recreational boats, increased from 5.3 in 2007 to 5.6 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational boats in 2008. During this time, the Coast Guard recorded 709 deaths, 3,331 injuries and approximately $54 million dollars in damage to property, stemming from 4,789 recreational boating accidents.

Operator inattention, careless or reckless operation, lack of proper lookout, operator inexperience and passenger or skier behavior rank as the top five contributing factors to recreational boating accidents.

Alcohol consumption continues to be of major concern in fatal boating accidents and is listed as the leading contributing factor in 17 percent of the deaths.

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