Coast Guardsmen holds open house in Fort Myers Beach, Fla.

Coast Guard Station Fort Myers Beach, Fla., crewmembers and local Coast Guard Auxiliary members hosted the station's annual safe boating open house, Sunday, May 17, 2015. The open house kicked off National Safe Boating Week and showcased the Coast Guard’s missions and capabilities for the local community. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ashley Johnson)

Coast Guard Station Fort Myers Beach, Fla., crewmembers and local Coast Guard Auxiliary members hosted the station’s annual safe boating open house, Sunday, May 17, 2015.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ashley Johnson)

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. ─ Members from Coast Guard Station Fort Myers Beach held their annual open house for the community, Saturday and Sunday.

The open house kicked off National Safe Boating Week and raised boating safety awareness for the Fort Myers community. Nationwide, from May 16 – 22, the Coast Guard is celebrating NSBW and reminding boaters to stay safe on the water during the summer season.

Also, the free event was an opportunity for the public to tour the station, Coast Guard boats and the Coast Guard Cutter Marlin homeported in Fort Myers Beach.

In addition, Coast Guardsmen and Coast Guard Auxiliary members educated the public about the Coast Guard’s roles and missions, and safety tips like always wearing a life jacket, filing a float plan and where to get a free vessel safety check.

“This is a great opportunity for members of the community to witness what we do on a day-to-day basis,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Jacob Aping, an officer of the day at the station. “We were able to give them a glimpse of what we do, and educate them on how they can help us do our job, like ensuring you have your proper safety equipment aboard before you leave the dock. Simple things that could save a life.”

Florida led the country in boating fatalities for 2014.

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