Coast Guard, Massachusetts Environmental Police sign recreational boating safety cooperative agreement

BOSTON — The Coast Guard’s First District commander and the director of Massachusetts Environmental Police signed a memorandum of agreement Feb. 1, 2011.

Col. Aaron Gross, Massachusetts Environmental Police director, and Rear Adm. Daniel A. Neptun, First District Coast Guard commander, formalized the agreement, defining how the state and Coast Guard will work together to oversee recreational boating safety programs within Massachusetts.

The agreement also assists the agencies in exchanging relevant information on law enforcement, boating safety and search and rescue incidents, to enhance success for both organizations.

“This partnership unifies Massachusetts and Coast Guard efforts to make waterways safer for all recreational boaters, including canoes, kayaks, powerboats, sailing vessels, stand-up paddle boards and many other vessels found on our waters,” said Walt Taylor, recreational boating safety program manager for the First Coast Guard District.

During the past three years there have been 225 reported accidents and 39 fatalities in Massachusetts. Of those, 65 accidents and 16 fatalities occurred within the past year.

“Simple safety precautions, like wearing a life vest, save lives,” said Gross. “Boating safety courses are a terrific way for boaters to educate themselves about the importance of safety equipment and operator rules. We’re proud to partner with the U.S Coast Guard to make sure the waters are safe for everyone.”

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