Coast Guard Station Destin to host National Boating Safety Week

Savannah Vasquez

In honor of National Safe Boating Week, May 17-23, U.S. Coast Guard Station Destin is hosting daily events in the Destin area.

“We will be at a different location every day,” said Vice Flotilla Commander Stuart Smith. “What we are doing is taking a specially built trailer around that we use to teach about safe boating.”

Smith said that aboard the trailer, a video will inform the public on safe boating practices, and why they are important. Coast Guard members and volunteer auxiliary members will be on-hand at each location to answer questions, sign boaters up for a free vessel inspection and enroll prospective students in boating safety classes.

“The purpose of Boating Safety Week is to teach people about safe boating, and to give them the correct skills for being on the water,” said Smith. “There have been a couple of accidents already this year, and we need to teach people about the currents in East Pass and Crab Island.”

One of the main focuses of the week, Smith told The Log, is to bring boating safety to the forefront of everyone’s mind before the busy summer season.

  “We will be handing out information on the boating safety classes that we host every month,” said Smith. “We will be doing them on the third Saturday of every month throughout the summer.”

The classes will teach basic boat handling skills, State and Federal regulations, marine rules, legal boat requirements, navigation proficiency, how to handle emergencies, how to float, and how to correctly wear a life jacket. Once the class is completed participants will be eligible for boater’s insurance discounts and will receive a safe boating card.