Sunday, May 16, 2010

Show Notes 16 May 2010

2010 NATIONAL SAFE BOATING WEEK
MAY 22 THROUGH MAY 28

Tonight on the show we welcomed back to the USS Behind The Mike, four seasoned Safety Pirates from the Dundalk Power Squadron to talk about Boating Safety in conjunction with our ongoing efforts to help promote safe boating practices. We were joined by Past Squadron Commanders John Hall, Brooks Riley, Bernie Karpers and Captain Tony Solesky.

Among the topics of discussion were life vests, education, stupidity, ignorance and other factors that go into a bad (or good) recipe for recreational boating. Life vests are very important and of course should not be viewed as a nuisance or trouble because you see someone wearing them. The squadron reminds us that life vests do no one any good when they are sitting in the bag, under the seat or stowed elsewhere. It was also noted that it takes approximately four (4) minutes to put on a life vest properly and while under NO duress. So you should take that 4 minutes casually...before you leave the port. The main reason people may not wear life vests - STUPIDITY.

FACT :: Over two-thirds of all fatal boating accident victims drowned, and of those, ninety (90) percent were not wearing a life jacket.

We fielded some great questions from the chat room tonight on the show. First, does the US Power Squadron (and the associated units) educate persons, as part of their seamanship classes, in regards to situations involving divers? The answer is yes and here is what the United States Coast Guard "Rule 27e - Vessel Engaged in Diving Operations" of the publication COMDTINST M16672.2D says about it:

Whenever the size of a vessel engaged in diving operations makes it impracticable to exhibit all lights and shapes prescribed in paragraph (d) of this Rule [most civilian vessels], the following shall be exhibited:

Three all-round lights in a vertical line where they can best be seen. The highest and lowest of these lights shall be red and the middle light shall be white; a rigid replica of the International Code flag "A" not less than 1 meter in height. Measures shall be taken to ensure its all-round visibility.

footnote - The U.S. federal government has no rules about using the red-and-white dive flag. However, most U.S. states do, and so do some local governments. SO CHECK LOCAL RULES!!

Another chat question came up about some methods, if applicable, can be used to navigate channels and inlets in the dark. Of course, electronic equipment such as radar helps but you can always pick up some courses on "Celestial Navigation" so you can figure out where you are by the night sky. The power Squadron has classes on navigation as well.

The mother of all bad things when it comes to boating is "Boating While Intoxicated (BWI)". The fact that you are out there in the sun and wind will complicate things when you drink because you are already fatigued from the elements. According the U.S. Coast Guard, "alcohol is more hazardous on water than on land." For the safety of yourself, family, friends and fellow boaters never EVER drink while out on a boat. Even if you are not driving, you can become inebriated and fall off the vessel.

Please visit the links below to get started on learning more about what the Dundalk Power Squadron does, how to reach them and there are links to the national squadron home page so you can find the unit in your area.

Links:
United States Power Squadrons®
Dundalk Power Squadron (Dundalk, Maryland)
National Safe Boating Council
United States Coast Guard - Boating Safety Resource Center

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