Coast Guard Auxiliary offers boating safety course in Bellingham, Wash.

SEATTLE – The Coast Guard Auxiliary is scheduled to teach a boating safety course April 12, 2008, at the Squalicum Yacht Club in Bellingham, Wash., from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

This introductory boating course is designed for persons 18 years and older with an emphasis on recreational boating safety in the Pacific Northwest.

Attendees will learn what to do before getting underway and the basics of protecting and handling a boat safely. Also included are waterways navigation, safety equipment, boating problems and emergencies and legal requirements for boating in Washington.

Graduates of the Coast Guard Auxiliaries America’s Boating Course meet the boating educational requirements for the mandatory Washington State Boater’s Education Card. This law will have a phase-in period for compliance from 2008 until 2016 for various age groups. Since January 1, 2008, boaters 20 years and younger are required to obtain their Boater Education Card. By January 1, 2009, boaters 25 years and younger must have their Boater Education Card.

The course fee is $45 and includes materials and lunch. Each additional family member is $25. Class size is limited. Many insurance companies offer discounts to graduates of the boating education course.

To pre-register, contact Pam Chelgren-Koterba at (360) 647-9715 or email Pam_Frank@comcast.net.

Visit http://www.bliaux.com/ for more boating classes and free vessel safety checks.

The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary is composed of uniformed, non-military volunteer civilians who assist the Coast Guard in all of its varied missions, except for military and direct law enforcement. These men and women can be found on the nation’s waterways, in the air, in classrooms and on the dock, performing Maritime Domain Awareness patrols, safety patrols, vessel safety checks and public education.

The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary was founded in 1939 by an Act of Congress as the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve and re-designated as the Auxiliary in 1941. Its 35,000 members donate millions of hours annually in support of Coast Guard missions.

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