New Coast Guard Auxiliary National Commodore Targets Boating Deaths

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Jim Vass of Port O’Connor, Texas; the new Coast Guard Auxiliary National Commodore; charged the Coast Guard Auxiliary, to reduce deaths on our waterways.”We need to recommit ourselves to improving recreational boating safety and making a serious dent in reducing the recreational boating death growth rates, Commodore Vass said.”

2009 saw an increase of 3.8% in recreational boating deaths because people fail to wear life jackets, are inattentive, and consume alcohol while operating boats. Nearly 75 percent of the 736 people who died in boating accidents in 2009 drowned, and 84 percent of those victims reportedly were not wearing a life jacket. Our waterways should be fun, not places where you lose your life commented Vass.

Commodore Vass began his association with the Coast Guard Auxiliary in 1991 and has served in a host of positions at the local, regional and national levels. Most recently he was the national vice commodore. He holds qualifications as an instructor, vessel examiner, and boat coxswain. His awards include the Coast Guard Auxiliary Medal of Operational Merit, Commendation Medal, Service Award, the Coast Guard Unit Commendation, and Coast Guard Meritorious Team Commendation.

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary created by an Act of Congress in 1939 is the uniformed civilian component of the U.S. Coast Guard supporting the Coast Guard in nearly all its missions.

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