Coast Guard to host boating safety event during open house in Annapolis, Md.

A local youth poses aboard a 29-foot Response Boat-Small while wearing Coast Guard Seaman Andrew Vardakis' hat and a lifejacket during the open house held at Coast Guard Station Annapolis, Md., May 11, 2013. Approximately 300 locals visited the station where members of several local first responder agencies joined the station to interact with the public and highlight the importance of cooperation between the Coast Guard and local authorities. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class David R. Marin)

A local youth poses aboard a 29-foot Response Boat-Small while wearing Coast Guard Seaman Andrew Vardakis’ hat and a lifejacket during an open house held at Station Annapolis in 2013. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class David R. Marin)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Coast Guard is scheduled to hold an open house focused on safe boating Saturday in Annapolis.

The event will be open to the public and will feature Coast Guard members from Station Annapolis, members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary and local first responder emergency crews and vehicles.

The Coast Guard will provide information and lessons on boating safety to include the following:

  • Life jackets – which are approved and how to properly select and wear them
  • VHF-FM radios – built-in and hand held, and how they are more reliable than cell phones
  • Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons – with discussion on their accuracy and reliability
  • Float plans – how letting family or friends know a mariner’s position and expected return time can help rescuers narrow a search in the event of an emergency
  • Vessel Identification Stickers for personal watercraft – how they help property lost during storms be returned to its owner and how it helps the Coast Guard know who might be missing
  • Coast Guard Mobile App

Agencies scheduled to be present:

  • Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City
  • Coast Guard Recruiting
  • Maryland Natural Resources Police
  • Maryland State Police
  • Anne Arundel County Fire Department
  • Anne Arundel Medical Center Mobile Blood Unit
  • Annapolis City Fire Department

There will also be displays on the following:

  • The Coast Guard unit’s history
  • A comparison of Coast Guard boat crew personal protective equipment from the 1950s and today
  • A uniform display showing the evolution of Coast Guard uniforms from the 1950s to today

May 16 to May 22 is recognized as National Safe Boating Week, and Coast Guard crews throughout the area will be on patrol paying particular attention to recreational boating safety. The Coast Guard urges all mariners to examine their safety gear, ensure they have required safety equipment and ensure their gear is working properly.

Below are tips to help boaters prepare for a summer on the water:

  • Wear a life jacket. In an emergency, there might not be enough time to put one on, so wearing one at all times may save a life. Accidents on the water happen quickly, and not wearing a life jacket is like trying to put on a seat belt during a car accident.
  • Check local weather before departing the dock. Weather can change rapidly, and being aware of forecasted conditions prepares boaters for the unexpected.
  • Have nautical charts of the area and a reliable means of communication, such as a VHF-FM marine radio. Cell phones are a good backup but can be unreliable due to gaps in coverage and dead batteries.
  • The Coast Guard urges boaters to obtain a free, no-fault vessel safety check, which can be conducted by the Coast Guard Auxiliary before heading out on the water. The safety checks are courtesy examinations of your vessel, verifying the presence and condition of certain safety equipment required by state and federal regulations.

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