Safe Boating Day event set next week in Bayview

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It’s that time of year again when we start thinking about what we have to do to get our boat ready to put back into the water. We’re often surprised, even frustrated, at those unexpected maintenance items or needed repairs. And then we have to think about whether we have all the needed and required items on board.

Well, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary would like to help you prepare for a safe 2019 boating season. On June 1, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Division 8 of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, in conjunction with MacDonald’s Resort, the Bitter End Marina, and the Scenic Bay Marina, will be sponsoring Boating Safety Day in Bayview.

All day long a number of one hour “mini-classes” on VHF radio usage, man overboard rescue procedure, and “rules of the road” will be offered free of charge to the public. These classes will be provided on both sides of Scenic Bay at MacDonald’s Resort and at the Bitter End Marina. If you miss the class you really wanted to attend, don’t worry, it will be offered again at both locations throughout the day.

The schedule of classes is as follows: Rules of the Road (10 a.m., 2 p.m. at MacDonald’s; 11 a.m., 3 p.m. at Bitter End Marina), Man Overboard (11 a.m., 3 p.m. at MacDonald’s; 1 and 2 p.m. at Bitter End Marina), Using Your Radio (10 a.m. at Bitter End Marina; 1 p.m. at MacDonald’s).

In addition, paddle craft training will be available at the MacDonald’s swim area. Life jacket fitting will be demonstrated at all three locations. A tour of an active Coast Guard Auxiliary boat will also be available at MacDonald’s Marina. And the kids will love to have their picture taken with PFD Panda at the Bitter End Marina.

• • •

Tom Barnes is the Public Affairs Officer for Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 87 in Sandpoint. Address comments or questions to 208-290-1286.

For those who are timid or afraid of using the VHF radio you will be taught how to use it and may even be able to practice using it. You don’t have to be an expert to use it, just alive. A VHF radio can often bring help much quicker than a cell phone because it can reach many boats over a large area of the lake immediately. Even if you have a cell phone you may not be in a coverage area and if you don’t have the phone number of the boat a half mile away it might as well be a half a world away.

Knowing what to do when approaching another boat across your bow, how to pass another vessel safely, how to operate your boat near others when both are moving at fast speeds, and being aware of no wake zones will be taught in the Rules of the Road mini-class. This class may help save your life and those of others and keep you from getting a ticket from the local deputy sheriff.

The man overboard mini-class will teach you what to do if someone accidentally falls into the water, with or without a life vest, and to recover them safely. This procedure may sound easy but panic can quickly overtake an otherwise seemingly simple exercise. Know what to do and how to do it to achieve a happy outcome.

In addition to the mini-classes, free, no consequence, vessel safety checks (VSC) will be provided at all three locations throughout the day. These VSC’s will let you know exactly what you need to have on board to satisfy Idaho boating law, as well as recommended items. If your boat successfully meets all required items you will be given a 2019 decal to place on your port (left) side window to proudly display to others and the Deputy Sheriff’s that you are in full compliance with Idaho boating law.

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary asks you to start your 2019 boating season off safely by marking June 1 on your calendar as Boating Safety Day in Bayview.

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Tom Barnes is the Public Affairs Officer for Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 87 in Sandpoint. Address comments or questions to 208-290-1286.

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