Maine Coast Guard to hold free open house, safe boating event

PORTLAND, Maine – The public is invited to the Coast Guard’s annual Boat Smart recreational boating safety day, open house and boating and kayaking safety seminar in South Portland, Maine, May 14, 2011.

This free event is an opportunity for the public to learn about potentially life-saving boating, kayaking and canoeing safety information, as well as to tour various Coast Guard boats and cutters stationed in Portland.

“With the peak boating season upon us, it is time to put all aspects of boating safety back in the public eye,” said Lt. Colleen McCusker, the recreational boating safety officer at Coast Guard Sector Northern New England. “With the help and support of our partners, we are excited to provide this opportunity to obtain useful safety information and skills that make it easy to ‘boat smart’ and that could end up saving a life.”

Numerous agencies and boating experts help sponsor this event, including the Coast Guard Auxiliary, Maine Marine Patrol, Maine Department of Fish and Wildlife, Cape Elizabeth Water Extraction Team, the Maine Association of Sea Kayaking Guides and Instructors (MASKGI), U.S. Power Squadron, and numerous industry specialists.

Activities planned during the open house and seminar includes:

  • Tours of various Coast Guard boats and cutters
  • Coast Guard Auxiliary courtesy boat checks
  • Flare demonstration and seminar at 12:30 p.m., and an opportunity for the public to expend expired and unused flaresRescue demonstrations and kayak and canoe safety seminars offered by MASKGI and Cape Elizabeth Water Extraction Team to highlight self and assisted rescue techniques.
  • Boating under the influence (BUI) safety awareness presentations by local marine law enforcement personnel
  • Boat and kayak specialists will provide presentations on required and recommended safety equipment, resources for approved safety gear, recreational boating skills, and trip planning.
  • Learn more about Operation Paddle Smart, a multi-agency initiative to promote recreational paddle sport safety across the United States

The event will be held at Coast Guard Sector Northern New England, located at 259 High Street South Portland, Maine from 10 a.m., until 3 p.m.

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