Recreational Boating Safety

USCG-0By Bob Currie, Vessel Examiner
United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 081-06-08
USCG Auxiliary Flotilla 06-08 is based at Coast Guard Station Galveston. The USCG Auxiliary was established by Congress in 1939. Our motto is Semper Paratus (Always Ready). We have units in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Guam. The Auxiliary operates under the direct authority of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security via the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Auxiliary operates in
• Safety and Security Patrols
• Search and Rescue
• Mass Casualty and Disasters
• Pollution Response and Patrols
• Homeland Security
• Recreational Boating Safety
• Commercial Fishing and Vessel Exams
• Platforms for Boarding Parties
• Recruiting for all service in the Coast Guard

This column will serve our mission to promote and improve Recreational Boating Safety through an educational series written by members of our flotilla. We will emphasize topics that relate to boating in the inland and coastal regions around Bolivar Peninsula and Galveston Island, as well as boating in our bays and marshes. Our topics will cover a range of boats which includes Paddle Craft such as kayaks, Personal Water Craft (PWC, commonly referred to as jet skis), sailing vessels, and power boats such as fishing boats, runabouts, and cabin cruisers.

Bob Currie is a Bolivar resident and will be a regular contributor to Crystal Beach Local News providing articles on Recreational Boating Safety. We are happy to welcome Bob to our team.

One of the simplest ways to learn boating safety is through a Boating Safety Course. You need education if you were born on or after Sept. 1, 1993, and will be operating a boat over 15 hp, a PWC, or a sailboat over 14 feet long in Texas. After that, a Vessel Safety Check (VSC) is a great way to ensure that not only you, but also your boat, are safe to operate in our waters. A VSC is completely voluntary, and is not an official boarding for law enforcement purposes. It is recommended that you correct any deficiencies noted. A VSC is completed by a U.S. Coast Guard approved Vessel Examiner. The VSC is performed using a checklist. A copy of the checklist is furnished for your information after the examination. Watercraft which pass the examination are awarded a VSC decal for the current year. By accepting the VSC decal you are pledging to maintain your boat and equipment to the standard of safety exhibited during this examination. The VSC has two portions: requirements under the law, and recommendations for safety. In future columns we will discuss the VSC in great detail.

Questions about the Auxiliary or our VSC program may be directed to me at SAFE BOATING!

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One Response to “Recreational Boating Safety”

  1. Don says:

    I had a Vessel Safety Check done in LaPorte a few years ago, she was very knowledgeable and I learned a lot. Please post in CB News if The USCG Auxiliary comes to Bolivar Peninsula to perform the VSC.

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