Coast Guard and Sheriff’s Department Join Forces for Boating Safety

MARINA DEL REY, Calif. – The U.S. Coast Guard and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department joined forces in an effort to promote safe boating Sunday.

Station Marina del Rey and the Sheriff’s Department targeted enforcement of the marina’s “excessive wake and speed” ordinance, while Coast Guard boarding officers from the Coast Guard Cutter Halibut conducted safety and security boardings. Boaters were also referred to Coast Guard Auxiliary members who were on hand to conduct courtesy vessel examinations.

The joint operation was designed to increase boaters’ awareness of the excessive wake and speed ordinance in the marina while at the same time increasing boaters’ overall awareness of safe boating practices, such as the requirement of having a life jacket for each passenger on board a boat.

Marina del Rey is the largest artificial small-craft harbor in the world and can accommodate nearly 7,000 pleasure boats.

“Because of the size of the marina and number of boats that it accommodates boater education is an important part of prevention,” said Trent Kelly, a Coast Guard Auxiliary member who participated in the operation.

What to expect if you are boarded by the Coast Guard:

A uniformed Coast Guard boarding team will notify you they are coming aboard to conduct a Coast Guard boarding. Like other law enforcement officers, they will be armed. Once on board they will conduct an initial safety inspection to identify any obvious safety hazards, and to ensure the sea worthiness of your vessel. The boarding officer will then ask to see the vessel registration or documentation, and proceed to inspect your vessel. The scope of the vessel inspection, during most boardings, is limited to determining whether the vessel is in compliance with the applicable boating laws.

The Coast Guard may also enforce U.S. criminal law. The boarding officer will complete a Coast Guard boarding form, and note any discrepancies. You will get a signed copy before they depart. Visit the Coast Guard boating website for the Coast Guard’s boarding policy.

The Coast Guard Cutter Halibut is a multi-mission patrol boat that conducts critical Homeland Security Operations, Search and Rescue, and Fisheries and Maritime Law Enforcement. Its normal area of operation is south to Dana Point and north to Morro Bay.

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