Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary reach out to local sail racing community

REDONDO BEACH, Calif – Last week over fifty skippers and crewmembers of the local Santa Monica Bay sail racing community, representing various degrees of experience, had an opportunity to hear about staying safe on the water from the perspective of a Coast Guard rescue helicopter pilot, a Coast Guard Search and Rescue Controller, and a Coast Guard Auxiliary boating safety expert.

This group of sail racers were particularly interested wtih ways to stay safe on the water considering they experienced two actual man-overboard incidents during recent races this past season. One incident required the Coast Guard to launch a search.

Rescue helicopter pilot Lt. Cmdr. William Sasser, Operations Officer at Coast Guard Air-Station Los Angeles explained to the group that bright colored clothing such as red, orange and yellow are substantially easier to spot from the air and to avoid green and blue colored clothing since those colors blend in with the water.

Search and Rescue Controller Sandy Needle was able to convey the perspective of the person who actually directs searches and rescues from the Operations Center at Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach.

Trent Kelly, Commander of Coast Guard Auxiliary units that service the Santa Monica Bay, discussed the importance of wearing lifejackets and demonstrated inflatable lifejackets and other personal protective equipment that should be attached to lifejackets such as strobe lights, flares and sound producing devices. Kelly also encouraged the group to take advantage of the boating safety classes offered by the Coast Guard Auxiliary.

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