Free – Coast Guard Open House and Kayak/Canoe Safety Seminar

PORTLAND, Maine – The public is invited to attend the Second Annual Open House and Kayak/Canoe Safety Seminar at the South Portland, Maine, Coast Guard base, located at 259 High Street, April 17, 2010, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

The Open House is an opportunity for the public to see the units, boats and cutters stationed in South Portland and gain a better appreciation of what their Coast Guard does for them every day.

The kayak and canoeing safety seminar portion supports Operation PADDLESMART. PADDLESMART is a multi-agency initiative to promote recreational paddle sport safety across the United States. There will be several waterborne demonstrations of general paddle sport topics including self and assisted rescue techniques.

“While the Coast Guard is a multi-mission military organization, we also take great pride in being part of our local community”, states LT Bryan Hollis. “We want to take this opportunity to invite our neighbors to come onboard for the day to learn more about the Coast Guard’s many missions while also acquiring some essential safe boating skills at the same time.”

Numerous partner agencies and kayaking/canoeing interests are involved in this effort, including Maine Marine Patrol, Cape Elizabeth Water Extrication Team, Maine Wardens Service, the Maine Association of Sea Kayaking Guides and Instructors, area outdoor retailers and many more.

Other activities available during the seminar include:

  • A press conference at 11:30, during which representatives from the Coast Guard, state and local authorities and kayaking guides and instructors will be available to discuss Operation PADDLESMART and boating safety.
  • Scheduled tours of Coast Guard Sector Northern New England, Station South Portland, Aids to Navigation Team Portland, and Coast Guard cutters will be available from 10 a.m., until 3 pm.
  • Experts will provide presentations on trip planning, required safety equipment, recommended gear and other recreational boating skills.
  • The Coast Guard Auxiliary will also offer free voluntary paddle craft inspections outside of the base for members of the public who bring their kayak or canoe to the event.

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