Coast Guard Station Annapolis Md., hosts open house

5th Coast Guard District News
BALTIMORE — The crew of Coast Guard Station Annapolis  hosted an open house at the station Saturday in an effort to educate the community on safe boating practices.

Crews from the Anne Arundel County Fire Department including their Special Operations Dive Rescue team, Anne Arundel County Police, Maryland Natural Resources Police, Kent Island Volunteer Fire Department, Anne Arundel County Medical Center and the Coast Guard Auxiliary joined the crew of station Annapolis as they opened their doors to the public.

“May 18th marks the beginning of National Safe Boating Week and the start of the boating season,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Josh Namowitz, the executive petty officer of station Annapolis and coordinator for the event. “I thought that by having an open house and inviting local search and rescue agencies, we could not only get to better know our community and they us, but we would reach more people and have a greater impact by inviting the public to come to us instead of us going out to them.”

The event marked the first time in recent years  the station had an open house. There were uncertainties about the weather, the number of people to expect and even what crews would be able to attend.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” said Jody Schulz, the department president and boat captain with the Kent Island Volunteer Fire Department. “It’s been a great crowd. We’re from Queen Anne’s County, Kent Island, and many people who have been here today have been from Kent Island. It’s been great, and I think it will only get better.”

The open house also served as a  way for members of the participating agencies to gather in a non-responsive roll.

“I think it was more than an open house for the community, but an opportunity for all the boat operators to get to meet one another,” said Schulz. “When we respond to incidents, we don’t necessarily get a chance to get on each other’s boats and see the equipment or meet the people. So as much as it is beneficial for the public to be here, I think it is as beneficial for the Coast Guard and all the other first responders.”

With more than 300 visitors to the open house, Namowitz already has plans for the future.

“We’re going to make this an annual event,” said Namowitz. “Hopefully it will grow and have more participants and things for people to see and do.”

Coast Guard Seaman Andrew Vardakis speaks to a local family aboard a 29-foot Response Boat-Small about the Coast Guard, our missions and the boat during an open house held at Coast Guard Station Annapolis, Md., May 11, 2013. Approximately 300 locals visited the station where members of several local first responder agencies joined the station to interact with the public and highlight the importance of cooperation between the Coast Guard and local authorities. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class David R. Marin)

Coast Guard Seaman Andrew Vardakis speaks to a local family aboard a 29-foot Response Boat-Small about the Coast Guard, our missions and the boat during an open house held at Coast Guard Station Annapolis, Md., May 11, 2013. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class David R. Marin)

Kent Island Volunteer Fire Fighter Jody Schultz sits aboard a 29-foot Response Boat-Small while speaking to Coast Guard Seaman Andrew Vardakis during the open house held at Coast Guard Station Annapolis, Md., May 11, 2013. Members of several local first responder agencies took part in the open house to interact with the public and highlight the importance of cooperation between the Coast Guard and local authorities. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class David R. Marin

Kent Island Volunteer Fire Fighter Jody Schultz sits aboard a 29-foot Response Boat-Small while speaking to Coast Guard Seaman Andrew Vardakis during the open house held at Coast Guard Station Annapolis, Md., May 11, 2013. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class David R. Marin

Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Josh Namowitz talks with pilots (from left to right) Sgt. Shannon Mack and Cpl. Jeff Reger with Anne Arundel County Police, at Coast Guard Station Annapolis in Annapolis, Md., May 11, 2013. The pilots took part in an open house at the Coast Guard station to interact with the public and highlight the importance of cooperation between the Coast Guard and local authorities. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lisa Ferdinando)

Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Josh Namowitz talks with pilots (from left to right) Sgt. Shannon Mack and Cpl. Jeff Reger with Anne Arundel County Police, at Coast Guard Station Annapolis in Annapolis, Md., May 11, 2013. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lisa Ferdinando)

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