By Bill Coby, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary
With the boating season upon us, we pull the trailer to the ramp,
launch the boat and jump in!
This is not always the best way to begin a safe boating season.
Many items need to be checked before making that cruise with
family and friends.
When was the last time you checked your fire extinguishers, made
sure that your navigation lights were working, that your lines were
in good shape, or even your life preservers are in proper working
All of these and more items are checked in the Coast Guard
Auxiliary Vessel Safety Check program.
The Coast Guard Auxiliary Vessel Safety Check is offered free of
charge to all boaters. It checks the safety features of all vessels.
If there is a problem, you are told how to correct it without
When all items are checked and are deemed safe, a safety seal
window decal defines your vessel as a safe boat.
Many Vessel Safety Check Stations are held at ramps and harbors.
Watch for signs or contact your local Coast Guard Auxiliary, marina,
or marine dealer for the nearest inspection station or person.
For over 60 years, tens-of-thousands of men and women of the
Coast Guard Auxiliary have spent millions of volunteer hours helping
the Coast Guard carry out its missions.
For more information on America's Volunteer Lifesavers, visit http://www.cgaux.org/.