Boating Safety

Recreational Boating Safety – The 2126 Club

Bob CurrieBy Bob Currie, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist
U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Station Galveston Flotilla
You may be reading this if you are a member of the 2126 Club, whose members were seriously injured in a recreational boating accident in 2023. If you are a member of the 564 Club, then you are not reading this because you are dead. To be a member of the 564 Club one must

Recreational Boating Safety – The 564 Club

Bob CurrieBy Bob Currie, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist
U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Station Galveston Flotilla
If you are a member of the 564 Club, then you are not reading this because you are dead. To be a member of the 564 Club one must have died as the result of a recreational boating accident in 2023. You may be reading this if you are a member of the 2126 Club, whose members were

Recreational Boating Safety – 2023 Coast Guard Accident Statistics

Bob CurrieBy Bob Currie, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist
U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Station Galveston Flotilla

The Coast Guard has released the Recreational Boating Accident Statistics for 2023. The following tables give you an overview. I ask everyone to look at the tables and ask themselves the following questions:

Recreational Boating Safety – The Ten Commandments of Safe Boating

Bob CurrieBy Bob Currie, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist
U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Station Galveston Flotilla
This Friday, May 24, was the last day of National Safe Boating Week. The Coast Guard used this week to reach as many people as possible in the hopes that they would learn something about safe boating. The National Safe Boating Council recommends these ten safety tips

Recreational Boating Safety – Suddenly in Command

Bob CurrieBy Bob Currie, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist
U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Station Galveston Flotilla
Here is a scenario that happens all too often all over the US: You are the skipper of a nice recreational boat. You decide to take some friends out for a boat ride. Everything is going well when all of a sudden you hit a wave at a bad angle and you are thrown overboard. If you are doing

Recreational Boating Safety – National Safe Boating Week

Bob CurrieBy Bob Currie, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist
U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Station Galveston Flotilla
Safe Boating Week is from May 18-24, 2024. The purpose of the Safe Boating Campaign is to promote boater education and safe operation so that all boaters get home safely. Getting home safely from a recreational boating outing is simply a matter of following some

Recreational Boating Safety – Boat Stability Issues

Bob CurrieBy Bob Currie, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist
U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Station Galveston Flotilla
What is Vessel Stability
Stability is the ability of a vessel to return to its upright position after being heeled over by any combination of wind, waves, or other forces. An originally stable boat may become unstable at any time due to changes in

Recreational Boating Safety – i911 Emergency Location Program

Bob CurrieBy Bob Currie, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist
U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Station Galveston Flotilla
For years now I have been telling everyone they need a marine VHF/FM radio to safely operate their boat near shore (within 20 miles) because cell phones are not dependable. Although everything above is still true, the Coast Guard has a new system that incorporates your

Recreational Boating Safety – Where’s the Beach?

Bob CurrieBy Bob Currie, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist
U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Station Galveston Flotilla
I live in a resort community on a 21-mile long narrow peninsula on the Gulf of Mexico. My house is raised 21 feet above sea level on pilings. From my deck I can look one way and see ships go by, and the other way and see tugs pushing barges in the Intracoastal

Recreational Boating Safety – The Best Boat for You

Bob CurrieBy Bob Currie, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist
U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Station Galveston Flotilla
It’s getting to be the time of year when people begin to look at boats. There are boat shows all over the place, and boat shows are one of the best ways to see what is new out there in the recreational boating world. The first time you visit a boat show you will be drawn to this

Recreational Boating Safety – Uninspected Passenger Vessel Exams

Bob CurrieBy Bob Currie, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist
U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Station Galveston Flotilla
While large ships and certain other vessels require a Certificate of Inspection (COI), many smaller commercial vessels don’t require routine inspections. Just as recreational vessels are not required to have a Vessel Safety Check (VSC), smaller passenger vessels such as

Recreational Boating Safety – Call for Phillip Morris!

Bob CurrieBy Bob Currie, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist
U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Station Galveston Flotilla
If you watch television stations that have advertising, you probably realize that half of what you watch consists of endless (or so it seems) spot commercials lasting from as few as 15 seconds up to two minutes in length. Prior to 1970, when the FCC prohibited

Recreational Boating Safety – Collision Avoidance

Bob CurrieBy Bob Currie, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist
U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Station Galveston Flotilla
I read a local news post regarding a collision between a bass boat and a pontoon boat that resulted in the death of the pontoon boat operator and serious injuries to two other occupants of the pontoon boat. The news post noted that the operator of the bass boat was indicted

Recreational Boating Safety – First Aid

Bob CurrieBy Bob Currie, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist
U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Station Galveston Flotilla
Getting home safely is the most important consideration of recreational boating. Everyone knows they should be wearing a life jacket when boating, and we have also talked about visual distress signals such as flares and rockets. This column is dedicated to discussion of

Recreational Boating Safety – Vessel Safety Check Failures

Bob CurrieBy Bob Currie, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist
U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Station Galveston Flotilla
Our purpose in providing free Vessel Safety Check (VSC) inspections is to enhance safe boating practices by letting the boat operator know if they fail to meet any regulatory requirements and to offer recommendations from the Coast Guard on how they can make their

Recreational Boating Safety – Visual Distress Signals

Bob CurrieBy Bob Currie, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist
U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Station Galveston Flotilla
Every year at Coast Guard Station Galveston the base hosts Safety at Sea for the Sea Scouts, a division of the Boy Scouts of America. There are several activities in which the Sea Scouts participate, including participating in the use of pyrotechnic visual distress signals,

Recreational Boating Safety – Battery Care

Bob CurrieBy Bob Currie, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist
U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Station Galveston Flotilla
I was in line for the Port Bolivar to Galveston ferry early one morning to go to work on base. The deck hands unloaded the incoming ferry, and I put my truck in gear in anticipation of moving forward to load the ferry. But we were not directed to load. After a few long minutes we could

Recreational Boating Safety – Waterway Pollution Prevention

Bob CurrieBy Bob Currie, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist
U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Station Galveston Flotilla
We have all seen pieces of plastic and other garbage floating in the water near our boats or washed up on our beaches. There are many regulations that apply to dumping of garbage, sewage, and oil waste. This column addresses a few of those, and discusses the

Recreational Boating Safety – The Fog

Bob CurrieBy Bob Currie, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist
U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Station Galveston Flotilla
“The Fog” is a 1980 American supernatural horror film directed by John Carpenter. It tells the story of a strange, glowing fog that sweeps over a small coastal town in Northern California, bringing with it the vengeful ghosts of leprous mariners who were killed in

Recreational Boating Safety – Operating In and Near Shallow Water

Bob CurrieBy Bob Currie, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist
U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Station Galveston Flotilla.
One of the most important things you can do as a recreational boater is to know the territory in which you intend to operate. For Galveston Bay boaters, the number one hazard is shallow water. If you operate your boat in our bays, you are always either running in shallow

Recreational Boating Safety – Drop Anchor

Bob CurrieBy Bob Currie, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist
U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Station Galveston Flotilla
An anchor is not required equipment on a recreational boat, but a good anchor and anchor rode can save your life. Just this week some boys in a small aluminum boat with engine trouble were caught in a strong current with heavy winds pushing them out to sea. This happened

Recreational Boating Safety – Marine Safety Overview

Bob CurrieBy Bob Currie, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist
U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Station Galveston Flotilla
Gold and Silver
People see Auxiliarists in uniform performing their duties and know that we are part of the US Coast Guard, but often that is as far as their understanding goes. We are the unformed civilian component of the US Coast Guard,

Recreational Boating Safety – Cold Water Survival

Bob CurrieBy Bob Currie, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist
U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Station Galveston Flotilla
We have had several recent successful rescues in which boats sank or capsized. It is only because the persons aboard were able to get off a distress signal that they were saved. This is the time of year we boaters use to get ready for the next boating season rather than

Recreational Boating Safety – Rescue at Sea

Bob CurrieBy Bob Currie, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist
U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Station Galveston Flotilla
Sometimes things happen that are beyond your control. This is such a story. It involved 3 men aboard a recreational fishing vessel fishing near the Galveston North Jetty limit.

Here is what happened.

Recreational Boating Safety – The Pecking Order

Bob CurrieBy Bob Currie, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist
U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Station Galveston Flotilla
People who are not experienced sailors often do not fully understand the Navigational Rules of the Road that apply to sailing vessels, so this column will be dedicated to explaining some of those rules. I have often heard people say that a sailboat always has the right of way, but

Recreational Boating Safety – Everyone Fend for Themselves

Bob CurrieBy Bob Currie, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist
U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Station Galveston Flotilla
When you hear the word “fender,” what comes to mind? You may get an image in your mind of that part of your car or truck that covers the wheels, or if you are a musician you might think about the brand name for guitars and amps. But if you are a mariner, then you should think

Recreational Boating Safety – Man Overboard

Bob CurrieBy Bob Currie, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist
U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Station Galveston Flotilla
I remember a recent case in which a recreational vessel traveled for miles before anyone realized a passenger was missing. His body was found a couple of days later. It is important to keep a count of all passengers on board the vessel at any given time. Any time

Recreational Boating Safety – Good Samaritan Rescue

Bob CurrieBy Bob Currie, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist
U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Station Galveston Flotilla
The US Coast Guard relies heavily on private boaters to assist other boaters in distress. Often the nearest boat to a vessel in distress is a private boat. When time is of the essence, it is often the private vessel operator that comes to the aid of a fellow boater, and

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