Prevent Boat Accidents: Coast Guard Offers Safety Class October 16

With boating season in Pensacola virtually as long as you want it to be, fall is no time to forget about boating safety. Whether you’re an intrepid late-fall sailor or want to be ready to go come spring, fall can be an excellent time for a boater safety class.

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 1-8 is partnering up with the Milton Fire Department to offer one on Saturday, October 16. The eight-hour premier boating safety class “About Boater Safety” will be offered at 9:00 a.m. in the training room of the Milton fire station, which is located at 5321 Stewart Street. For more information, call 983-5430.

The class will cover everything from the basic legal requirements for boaters and the elements of handling a boat to safety tips and how to handle boat accidents and other emergencies.

A passing score on the examination at the end of the class makes you eligible for a Florida boating ID, which is required for all boaters under the age of 21 who wish to skipper a boat alone in state waters. Boaters over the age of 21 are also encouraged to attend.

The cost of the class is $35 per individual or up to four family members who share a book.

Coast Guard Boater Safety Class to Cover Important Safety Topics

Topics to be covered in the eight-hour boat safety class include:

  • Introduction to Boating — Types of power boats, sailboats, and others and their uses
  • Boating Law — Both federal and Florida law governing boats and personal watercraft including registration, regulation, required safety equipment, protecting the marine environment, safe operation and how to report boat accidents
  • Boat Safety Equipment — How to properly choose and use personal flotation devices (“life jackets”), fire extinguishers, first aid kits, sound and visual signals, lines and ropes, anchors, and other boating safety equipment
  • Safe Boating — Everything from drinking while boating and how to develop and file a float plan to how to get on, load, trim, dock and undock your boat
  • Navigation — The U.S. Aids to Navigation system, buoys and beacons, navigation and right-of-way rules, signaling and avoiding boat collisions
  • Boating DangersBoating accidents and rescues, how to recover a man overboard, hypothermia, what to do if you capsize or run aground, how to deal with engine or equipment failures, river hazards, PWC problems, emergency radio calls and other topics
  • Trailering, Storing and Protecting Your Boat — Safe trailering, retrieval, storage and theft protection
  • Hunting and Fishing, Water-Skiing and River Boating — Safely carrying hunting gear and weapons, fishing from a boat, water-skiing with a boat or PWC, and other boating safety tips

Sources:

  • Pensacola News Journal, “Boater safety class set for Oct. 16,” October 7, 2010
  • United States Coast Guard Auxiliary website, “About Boating Safely – Seminar Version” class information