Black Friday, Cyber Monday shoppers encouraged to remember boaters on gift lists

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ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – The Coast Guard is encouraging Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers to remember the boaters on their holiday gift lists and to take advantage of steep discounts various outfitters and marine retailers are offering on life-saving equipment.

“I can’t think of a better gift for the holidays than one that may save the life of a loved one,” said Cmdr. Brian Rush, chief of response at Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville. “Ideally, your family will never be forced to use it. However, should an accident happen in the harsh marine environment, it will become the gift that will never be forgotten.”

Three excellent gift choices are some of the most effective pieces of survival equipment: a properly-fitting, U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket; a handheld VH-FM marine radio; and a 406 MHz Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon or Personal Locator Beacon (ensure it is registered after purchase to avoid delays in a rescue situation).

Other gift ideas include:

  • A boating safety course
  • A marine GPS navigation system
  • A Coast Guard approved fire extinguisher
  • A first aid kit in a watertight container
  • A seamanship book
  • Nautical charts for the areas your favorite mariner frequents
  • A signaling kit
  • A life raft with a survival kit

Whistles and other sound-producing devices, signaling mirrors, flares and neatly-rolled nautical charts are all ideal sizes for stocking stuffers.

There are also free gift options for those on a tight budget:

  • Several pre-printed blank float plans ready to be filled out before the next boating trip
  • A complimentary Vessel Safety Check provided by the Coast Guard Auxiliary

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