Boating Safety Class offered at USCG Station Destin

Special to The Log

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is offering a Boating Safety Class at USCG Station Destin from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 on Jan. 25.

Pre-registration is required by Jan. 20. Cost is $35 and includes a book, exam, FWC Safe Boating ID Card, lunch and tour of the station.

By law, anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1988, who operates a vessel in Florida powered by 10 horsepower or more must pass an approved boater safety course and have in his/her possession photographic identification and a boating safety education identification card issued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Most insurance companies discount boat insurance by 5 to 10 percent for taking this boating course.

This course also satisfies requirements to rent boats from local marinas and military base outdoor recreation centers.

Topics covered in the course include:

• Introduction to Boating: Types of power boats; sailboats; outboards; paddle boats; houseboats; different uses of boats; various power boating engines; jet drives; family boating basics.

• Boating Law: Boat registration; boating regulation; hull identification number; required boat safety equipment; operating safely and reporting accidents; protecting the marine environment; Federal boat law; state boating laws; personal watercraft requirements.

• Boat Safety Equipment: Personal flotation devices ("life jackets"); fire extinguishers; sound-producing devices; visual-distress signals; dock lines and rope; first aid kit; anchors and anchor lines; other boating safety equipment.

• Safe Boating: Bow riding; alcohol and drug abuse; entering, loading, and trimming a boat; fueling portable and permanent tanks; steering with a tiller and a wheel; docking, undocking and mooring; knots; filing a float plan; checking equipment, fuel, weather and tides; using charts; choosing and using an anchor; safe PWC handling; general water safety.

• Navigation: The U.S. Aids to Navigation system; types of buoys and beacons; navigation rules (sometimes referred to as right-of-way rules); avoiding collisions; sound signals; PWC "tunnel vision," Destin harbor and Crab Island in particular.

• Boating Problems: Hypothermia; boating accidents and rescues; man overboard recovery; capsizing; running aground; river hazards; strainers: emergency radio calls; engine problems; equipment failures; carbon monoxide (CO); other boating and PWC problems.

• Trailering, Storing and Protecting Your Boat: Types of trailers; trailer brakes, lights, hitches, tires, and bearings; loading, balancing, and towing a trailer; towing (and backing) a trailer; boat launching and retrieving; boat storage and theft protection; launching, retrieving and storing a PWC.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed volunteer component of the U.S. Coast Guard and supports the Coast Guard in nearly all of its missions. The Auxiliary was created by Congress in 1939. For more information, please visit

To register for the course, contact Sheresa Waller, Public Education Officer, at 720-427-9058 or