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It important to keep up with safety gear aboard your vessel. Discover the McMurdo SmartFind AIS-equiped MOB device.

YTM-Autumn-2015-cvr

Link to full Autumn 2015 issue of Yachting Times Magazine .

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Read about the Peer-to-peer Boat Rental and Charter Marketplace known as CRUZIN.com.

YTM-summer-2015cvr

Link to the Summer 2015 issue and my Tech/Gear column online: yachtingtimesmagazine.com

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A SEA OF TRASH

sea-of-trash

For at least the past 10 years, I’ve been telling anyone who will listen about the impending catastrophic results of dumping plastic into our oceans. I’ve written about various research projects into the Pacific Gyre –  AKA: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and Project Kaisei, Mary Crowley San Francisco-based expedition team that studies marine debris in the North Pacific Gyre in hopes of cleaning up the pollution that will ultimately cause irreversible damage to oceans. Problems like Acidification, temperature rise and worse, destruction of marine habitats.

They were among the first to study ways in which we can perhaps clean up the garbage and fortunately, many have followed. Scripps Institute of Oceanography, in conjunction with the University of California, San Diego, has also been involved in important research.

A new study, release in May 2012, follows a report published last year by Scripps researchers in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series showing that nine percent of the fish collected during their study in 2009, called SEAPLEX (Scripps Environmental Accumulation of Plastic Expedition), “contained plastic waste in their stomachs. That study estimated that fish in the intermediate ocean depths of the North Pacific Ocean ingest plastic at a rate of roughly 12,000 to 24,000 tons per year.”

It’s enough to make you sick, just thinking about it! The cause… a 100-fold upsurge in human-produced plastic garbage in the ocean, which is altering habitats in the marine environment, according to the study led by graduate students at Scripps.

SEAPLEX concentrated their studies a thousand miles west of California, onboard the Scripps research vessel New Horizon. During the voyage, they documented “an alarming amount of human-generated trash, mostly broken down bits of plastic the size of a fingernail floating across thousands of miles of open ocean.”

scrippsnews.ucsd.eduimages-Halobates-Plastic

LEFT: Examples of a not-yet-hatched sea skater (Halobates sericeus) egg (top), about the size of a grain of rice, and a hatched egg (bottom). Photo: Miriam Goldstein, Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. RIGHT: SEAPLEX researchers collected an alarming amount of small bits of broken down plastic floating across thousands of miles of open ocean. Photo: Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.

scrippsnews.ucsd.eduimages-Halobates-skater

A fully-grown sea skater

Another new study, this one in the journal Biology Letters, reveals that plastic debris in the area known as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” has increased by 100 times over the past 40 years, leading to changes in the natural habitats of animals such as the marine insect Halobates sericeus. These “sea skaters” or “water striders”-relatives of pond water skaters-inhabit water surfaces and lay their eggs on flotsam. Naturally existing surfaces for their eggs usually include, for example: seashells, seabird feathers, tar lumps and pumice. In the new study researchers found that sea skaters have exploited the influx of plastic garbage as a new surface for their eggs. This has led to a rise in the insect’s egg densities in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre.

SEAPLEX-researchers

During SEAPLEX, sea skaters and plastic trash were collected with a fine-meshed net called a “manta net,” seen here being deployed from R/V New Horizon by Miriam Goldstein and Mario Aguilera. Photo: J. Leichter, Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego

Such an increase, documented for the first time in a marine invertebrate (animal without a backbone) in the open ocean, may have consequences for animals across the marine food web, such as crabs that prey on sea skaters and their eggs.

“This paper shows a dramatic increase in plastic over a relatively short time period and the effect it’s having on a common North Pacific Gyre invertebrate,” said Scripps graduate student Miriam Goldstein, lead author of the study and chief scientist of SEAPLEX, a UC Ship Funds-supported voyage. “We’re seeing changes in this marine insect that can be directly attributed to the plastic.”

In April, researchers with the Instituto Oceanográfico in Brazil published a report that eggs of Halobates micans, another species of sea skater, were found on many plastic bits in the South Atlantic off Brazil.

“Plastic only became widespread in late ’40s and early ’50s, but now everyone uses it and over a 40-year range we’ve seen a dramatic increase in ocean plastic,” said Goldstein. “Historically we have not been very good at stopping plastic from getting into the ocean so hopefully in the future we can do better.”

Coauthors of the study include Marci Rosenberg, a student at UCLA, and Scripps Research Biologist Emeritus Lanna Cheng.

microplastic-concentrations-graph-scripps-institute

Microplastic concentrations in 1972-1987 (a and b) and 1999-2010 (c and d) based on new data (SEAPLEX, NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer cruises), Algalita Marine Research Foundation as well as published data based on Wong et al (1974), Shaw (1977), Day & Shaw (1987), Gilfillan et al (2009) and Doyle et al (2011).

To read the entire research article, go to http://scrippsnews.ucsd.edu/Releases/?releaseID=1271

If you’d like to make a difference, here are

10 Things You Can Do To Save Our Oceans:

  1. DONATE to the Ocean Conservancy
  2. Be a part of the expedition
  3. Ditch plastic and use reusable bags, bottles, containers, utensils, and even straws. Try going completely plastic free to appreciate how much of the plastic in our lives goes unnoticed.
  4. Participate in International Coastal Cleanup. Pick up litter on beaches and help reduce coastal pollution. Much of the plastic and debris found in the ocean are first discarded on the beach. Bring a trash bag with you for your garbage, and organize a beach cleanup party with friends and family or local community members.
  5. Recycle as much as you can. The more, the better, so it goes nowhere else than into the virtuous cycle of humans reusing our own junk.
  6. Reduce your energy use
  7. Use less fertilizer -Grow your lawn and garden organically.
  8. Choose your seafood wisely
  9. Tell Congress to Fight Ocean Plastic!
  10. Take a Pledge To Stop Plastic Trash – It’s time!

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Christian Colombo, a former French Navy sailor and his wife were on their way to fulfil their dream. They were sailing to see the world in their yacht, the S/Y TRIBAL KAT until this dream was destroyed in the most traumatic way.

The TRIBAL KAT was attacked by Somali suspect criminals off the coast of Yemen while passing through the Gulf of Aden. Christian Colombo was killed during the attack, his body thrown overboard and his wife taken against her will by the suspect criminals. She was being moved by skiff towards Somalia when by a combination of good fortune, considering the vast area to be searched, and close cooperation between the counter-piracy forces in the region, a complex and dangerous rescue operation succeeded in recovering Mrs. Colombo uninjured.

The S/Y TRIBAL KAT was only the most recent of about 10 yachts attacked and their crews captured by Somali suspected pirates in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean in the past three years.

Nearly every recorded attack on a yacht has led to the crew being taken hostage and moved to Somalia where they were kept on land, their yachts being discarded. S/Y ROCKALL was completely stripped of everything onboard including the engine.

pirates-being-towed-UPI

PHOTO: Somali Pirates being towed. UPI

On land, the level of risk and hardship on the hostages is increased. They are removed from their familiar environment and exposed to a rough country with a harsh, hot climate. Often, hostages are held in the most basic conditions, i.e. no electricity, no sanitary installations, rationed basic food and water. Pirates have frequently moved hostages at short notice to avoid detection, increasing the stress and strain for the hostages.

The ordeal hostages have to endure can include every form of abuse. Physical and psychological mistreatment can include physical violence and mock executions. In some cases, crews and families have been separated for extended periods of time exposing hostages to the stress of uncertainty on the fate of their partner or child. When hostages were separated, pirates have simulated killing one or more of the hostages with machine gun fire out of sight of the remainder to increase the pressure for a ransom to be paid; the hostages are assumed to be very rich and the ransom demands can be for millions of dollars.

On average, maritime hostages have been held for over 7 months. However, for Paul and Rachel Chandler from the S/Y LYNN RIVAL, their captivity lasted 388 days in the Somali bush. They were eventually released after payment of a ransom however others are not so fortunate; French yacht-owner, husband and father, Florent Lemacon, was killed in April 2009 during the liberation of the S/Y TANIT. In February 2011, pirates shot and killed four Americans aboard the S/Y QUEST off the coast of Somalia when U.S. naval forces were trying to negotiate their release.

(Read about the kidnapping of the crew of the Quest).

S/V Tanit

PHOTO: Sailing Yacht Tanit

The presence of warships from EUNAVFOR, NATO and the Coalition Maritime Force, in addition to other naval forces, in the Gulf of Aden has significantly reduced the success of piracy attacks in this area. However, there remains a serious and increasing threat from piracy from the southern Red Sea, through the Bab el-Mandeb to the Gulf of Aden, off the coast of Somalia and into the Indian Ocean. This area is the same size as Western Europe and there are only between 12 and 18 warships in the area, with far higher priority tasking than protection of yachts and their crews, so if attacked, the chance of release is remote.

sv_quest

PHOTO: S/V Quest, courtesy of svquest.com

The risks to yachts from pirates are significant – they operate from one or more small skiffs, able to reach up to 25 knots. Increasingly, pirates use small arms fire and Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs) to stop and board vessels. Attacks have taken place mostly during the day, but pirates have also attacked at night. Pirates are likely to be aggressive, highly agitated, and possibly under the influence of drugs, (including khat, an amphetamine like stimulant).

pirate-attach-zone

PHOTO: Pirate attack zone

Yachts cannot out-run the pirates and are unable to prevent boarding. Merchant ships, which have higher freeboards and can adopt the self-protection measures recommended in the fourth edition of “Best Management Practices for Protection against Somalia Based Piracy” (BMP) improve their chances but even these only delay a determined pirate.

There is only one sure way of avoiding your yacht and crew being captured – freight the yacht across the high-risk area.

Otherwise you could be playing Russian Roulette with your crew and family.

Source: Maritime Executive Magazine Online

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Watch this amazing whale tale of how a few lucky people helped free an entangled humpback whale in the Sea of Cortez.

Gershon Cohen, Ph.D., founder of CSAW and its Project Director for the past thirteen years, is co-director of the Great Whale Conservancy. He focuses primarily on implementing GWC’s political and market-based objectives. CSAW has been the lead organization working to stop the dumping of polluted wastes from cruise ships since 1999. Cohen co-authored the Alaska Cruise Ship Ballot Initiative adopted by statewide vote in August 2006, establishing the world’s strictest pollution rules and oversight policies for the cruise industry. He holds a Master’s Degree in Molecular Biology and a Ph.D. in Environmental Policy.

Michael Fishbach, a staff member of the Earth Island Institute‘s Campaign to Safeguard America’s Waters(CSAW), is co-director of the Great Whale Conservancy. Michael has been actively involved in conservation efforts, scientific research, education, and ecotourism related to blue whales for 18 years. He focuses on implementation of public outreach  for the past two years, and has been actively involved in conservation efforts, scientific research, education, and ecotourism related to blue whales for 18 years. For GWC Fishbach focuses on implementation of public outreach and education. He is also currently working on blue whale habitat protection in the Sea of Cortez off Baja California.

Update:

You may have seen news reports that Humpback whales have been coming closer to shore in California then ever before, in search of food. There proximity to commercial shipping lanes has put them in serious danger.

On Monday, a petition was filed by four environmental groups to the U.S. Department of Commerce to instate a 10-knot speed limit for large commercial ships in four of California’s National Marine Sanctuaries in the Channel Islands, Monterey Bay, Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank, spanning over 8,000 square miles of ocean.

In the last 10 years, about 50 whales have been hit by ships off the California coast.  The exact numbers are nearly impossible to determine given that many accidents will go unseen or unreported.

The NOAA did designate these shipping lanes as a “Whale Advisory Zone” in 2007, as a result of the death of four blue whales that were struck and killed by vessels.  The advisories, however, are voluntary and do not always deter ship captains to use necessary caution, according to the environmentalists.

The petition filed by the Center for Biological Diversity, the Environmental Defense Center, Friends of the Earth and Pacific Environment is under review, according to World Shipping Council Vice President, Anne Kappel. The World Shipping Council represents nearly the entire commercial shipping industry.

This is the second time environmental groups have sought to enact stricter speed limits for the West Coast protected waters.  Their last proposal of a similar nature was rejected by federal regulators in 2007.

How You Can Help The Great Whales Survive…

The world’s great whales face more serious threats today than at any time in the last 100 years from ship collisions, habitat destruction, chemical contamination, impacts on sonar communication, challenges to navigation, and increased hunting. If these magnificent animals are going to survive, they will need people to speak and work on their behalf. The Great Whale Conservancy was launched in 2010 to meet that need.

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Global Piracy Report Released

Both the commercial maritime world and the yachting cruiser are on high alert for piracy in the Indian Ocean after the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) global piracy report  was released last week.

gulf-of-aden-normaneinstein

Map showing the location of the Gulf of Aden, located between Yemen and Somalia. Nearby bodies of water include the Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Arabian Sea, and the Bab-el-Mandeb strait. By Norman Einstein

No Surprise

The report revealed that there has been a sharp rise in piracy world-wide, driven by a surge in piracy off the coast of Somalia, where 97 attacks were recorded in the first quarter of 2011, up from 35 in the same period last year. Violence has also increased worldwide in the first quarter of 2011; 18 vessels were hijacked, 344 crew members were taken hostage, and six were kidnapped, IMB reported. A further 45 vessels were boarded, and 45 more reported being fired upon.

‘Figures for piracy and armed robbery at sea in the past three months are higher than we’ve ever recorded in the first quarter of any past year,’ said Pottengal Mukundan, Director of IMB, whose Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) has monitored piracy worldwide since 1991.

Still, only five of that total have involved yachts or other cruising vessels, up from two during the same time frame in 2008. However, Cyrus Mody, the organization’s manager, says the figures for yachts are incomplete, and are simply too small to make reliable comparisons. The group maintains a piracy reporting center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre is the only manned centre to receive reports of pirate attacks 24 hours a day from across the globe. IMB strongly urges all shipmasters and owners to report all actual, attempted and suspected piracy and armed robbery incidents to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre.

Immediate Action Needed to Stop Piracy Off Somalia

May 26, 2011. In a call for immediate action on piracy, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) urged governments to take action against the increasing number of pirate attacks occurring off the Somali coast. The Call for Action was launched at the annual International Transport Forum taking place in Leipzig, Germany from 25-27 May.

Despite measures taken by the United Nations Security Council and the presence of naval units in the area of the Gulf of Aden, pirates continue to strike. More and more commercial shipowners have had to resort to using private security firms to protect their seafarers and ships.

In 2010, the One Earth Foundation estimated the economic cost of piracy on the supply chain to be between US$7-12 billion.

“This is of great concern to any industry having to navigate through the Gulf of Aden to deliver goods by water,” ICC said.

Prepared by the ICC Commission on Transport and Logistics, the call for action said: “As the World Business Organization, ICC urges governments to recognize that piracy, in addition to its effect on the safety of seafarers, has an important financial impact on global trade and shipping, and furthermore poses increased threat on the stability and security of energy supply lines not only for major industrial nations.”

ICC called on governments to improve the rules of engagement given to the navies present in the area, and refocus the efforts of the UN and other international bodies to ensure that pirates are brought to justice and that required institutions in central Somalia are established to maintain economic and social standards.

Together with shipowners and trade associations around the world, over 20 CEOs from key shipping and trading companies have endorsed the ICC Call for Action on Piracy.

Help is coming – but slowly

International organizations are urging governments to enforce maritime laws more aggressively. The U.S. Navy and Coast Guard have been training some third world maritime forces in how to deal with attacks against yachts. And companies are adapting new technology – such as drone aircraft – that might someday help.

Cruisers Have SSCA In Their Corner

In the wake of the murder of four Americans aboard the sailing vessel Quest, the Seven Seas Cruising Association has released a statement pushing for a “Call to Action” by the U.S. and other world leaders to stop piracy on the seas.

The statement outlines a number of steps that should be taken to stop the growth of piracy in both Somalia and other dangerous areas of the world. Perhaps the most controversial is the recommendation that nations of the world execute an agreement “to immediately stop all current and future payment of ransoms to pirates for the release of individuals or vessels, and publish this fact far and wide.”

The rationale:

This is a particularly painful, yet absolutely vital step. It is highly likely that ruthless and desperate pirates will test our will and resolve in this matter, and they have stated that they will kill hostages if rescue attempts are made or ransoms are not paid. While we deeply regret any loss of life, more ransom money paid means that even more lives will be lost, and the pirates will grow ever stronger. It is absolutely necessary to break the current business model where piracy provides a fast path to great wealth. Ransom money equals increased piracy, escalating costs, more hostages and greater loss of life.

Other recommendations include:

  1. Implement a policy to quickly and aggressively rescue hostages from pirate control.
  2. Immediately take whatever actions are necessary to protect the lives and vessels, both commercial and private, which are currently vulnerable to pirate attacks as they attempt to reach the Red Sea and the Suez Canal.
  3. Work through the United Nations to establish a multi-national naval quarantine of the Somali coast that forbids armaments aboard Somali vessels, authorizes the boarding and search of any vessel operating in the quarantined area and authorizes the seizure of any armaments found on Somali vessels.
  4. Focus anti-piracy efforts on the sources of piracy.

We strongly recommend you read and share this statement: http://ssca.org/downloads/SSCA_Call_to_Action_2_Mar_11.pdf. Let us know what you think of it in the comments.

What You Can Do

The IMB’s Mody and other experts point to several precautions that boaters can take to minimize the risks that they’ll encounter pirates on a circumnavigation or extended passage. Even little precautions can make a big difference.

1. Route your cruise carefully to avoid the most pirate-infested waters whenever possible. The IMB and several other groups list specific areas where piracy occurs most often. Besides Somalia, the waters off Venezuela top the list, along with Colombia, much of Central America, parts of the Caribbean, the Cape Verde islands, the Philippines, Eastern Malaysia and the reef-laden Malacca Strait, which links the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean. The State Department’s website also contains a list of warnings. about piracy.

2. Do your research! Learn as much as you can about pirates and how they operate. Check out the list below for a list of websites on Piracy expressly for cruisers.

3. Before you start out, make sure that you and your crew have a plan on how to deal with piracy attacks so that no one makes a rash move that could endanger lives. This includes knowing where emergency equipment is, how to get help and how to respond if you’re boarded. (Most experts advise crews to go along with attackers rather than fight.)

4. File a Float Plan with friends and relatives. Some “experts” recommend filing that with local governments, but in my experience local governments can be corrupt, especially in poorer countries. I’ve personally known cruisers who were set up by local officials in Columbia, Mexico and Central America.

5. Compile a list of telephone numbers and radio channels you’ll need to contact local authorities and, in some cases, let them know in advance when you’ll be transiting and what route you plan to take.

6. And Most Importantly, try to arrange to go in convoys with other boats when you sail through pirate-infested waters, and develop a plan for communicating with one another, getting help and what to do when your convoy is attacked. To make a convoy work, you’ll have to team up with boats that can make the same speed that your boat can, so you can all stick together. Use AIS to call one another rather than hailing over the VHF where everyone can hear you.

7. Sail at night. Many authorities suggest that you sail through pirate-infested waters at night – preferably when it’s cloudy and there’s no moon to make you easily visible. Turn off all lights – both interior lights and running lights – so it’s harder for pirate crews to see you (and keep a careful watch for traffic). Keep your engine noise to a minimum. And shut down unnecessary electronic devices.

Set a lookout at all times – even when you’re at anchor – and assign someone to monitor VHF-FM and single-sideband radios for warnings of pirate activity. Pirates usually use speedboats and frequently attack in early morning or late afternoon when they can use the sun to their advantage. If you have a sailboat or a vessel with low freeboard, you’re an especially inviting target.

Pirates don’t wear distinguishing clothing, but there are some signs and characteristics that should make you wary. Attacking vessels are usually small skiffs or speedboats, carrying two or three crew members.

Rule of Thumb: If you don’t see nets in or around the boat and sea birds aren’t flying around, they aren’t fishermen.

live-piracy-map_icc-ccs-org

Image courtesy of icc-ccs.org

Piracy Resources:

Seven Seas Cruising Association
www.ssca.org

Noonsite – Piracy
www.noonsite.com

Caribbean Safety & Security Net (CSSN)

http://www.safetyandsecuritynet.com/

Yacht Piracy (Klaus Hympendahl)
http://www.yachtpiracy.org/en/dangerous_regions.htm

The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) – Piracy Reports
http://www.sailing.org/1382.php

Live Piracy Map from ICC
Live Piracy Map Link

Note: The main aim of the PRC is to raise awareness within the shipping industry, which includes the shipmaster, ship-owner, insurance companies, traders, etc, of the areas of high risk associated with piratical attacks or specific ports and anchorages associated with armed robberies on board ships. This site is not directed towards piracy against private yachts.

IMB Piracy Reporting Centre

If you wish to report an piratical incident or armed robbery please contact the 24-hour Piracy Reporting Centre:

Tel: + 60 3 2078 5763
Fax: + 60 3 2078 5769
Telex:  MA34199 IMBPCI
E-mail: imbk l@ icc-ccs.org /attrpiracy @ icc-ccs.org
24 Hours Anti Piracy HELPLINE Tel: + 60 3 2031 0014

Please Stay Safe Out There and Fairwinds!

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nsbw-wear-it_logoNational Safe Boating Week – May 21-27, 2011

Focus on Life Jackets

This year during National Safe Boating Week, and throughout the boating season remember to practice safe and responsible boating, always wear your life jacket, and be alert and aware while on the water. By practicing these simple steps you can save your life as well as the lives of the people boating with you. Life jackets are now more comfortable and lightweight than ever, with many new styles to fit the style you want. Safe boating saves lives so for this year’s North American Safe Boating Week (May 21–27, 2011) and throughout the boating season remember to “Wear It!”

As in years past, the goal of National Safe Boating Week is to educate and inform the boating public about the need to follow safe boating practices. It doesn’t matter if you’re only going out for a short sail around the bay, fishing for an afternoon, paddling or a longer voyage, safety should always be foremost on your mind.

boaterexam-female-bannerBest practices include:

  • Take a boating safety course
  • Get a vessel safety check
  • File a float plan
  • Designate a sober skipper
  • Wear a life jacket

Sea Tow and the nonprofit Sea Tow Foundation will help kick off National Safe Boating Week.

“Late May is the start of boating season in many regions across the U.S.,” Gail Kulp, executive director of the Sea Tow Foundation, said in a release. “But even in communities that enjoy year-round boating, this is a good time to remind boaters of some key boating safety practices.”

nsbw-readysetinflate-logoTo help kick-off the week-long event, and to showcase the wide array of available inflatable life jacket options, the National Safe Boating Council, in partnership with the Canadian Safe Boating Council, is inviting boating safety professionals and members of the boating community to participate in this year’s “Ready, Set, Inflate!” Inflatable Life Jacket World Record Day on Saturday, May 21. Throughout North America and around the world, participants will inflate life jackets to try and beat last year’s world record of 1,154 participants.

For more information on this event and National Safe Boating Week, go to readysetinflate.com or safeboatingcampaign.com.

More: http://www.boating-industry.com/output.cfm?id=2748241

Important Links

Safe Boating Campaign

Safe Boating Council

Ready Set Inflate

USCG Boating Safety Resource Center

Vessel Safety Check

National Weather Service/NOAA Safe Boating

A pledge the public can live with.
Use this handy, downloadable pdf file in conjunction with your event life jacket giveaways. The total size is 8.5″ x 11″ when folded in half. The file also has form fields for easy, on computer processing. Not only does the pledge underscore an obligation by the recipent, but it also serves to be a useful promotional tool. To download the pdf, click on the thumbnail image below.

wearit-pledgecard

Events – “Wear it Florida”

nbsw-wearit-FL-logo

– Youth Boating Safety Class – May 21, 2011 (9am to 1pm)
Free boating safety class for kids age 10 and up
Elks Lodge 1676, 6304 SW 78 Street, Miami, FL . Contact: Elena Cohan, 305-804-9630,  elena.flotilla65@gmail.com

– Presentation: Suddenly in Command, Can You Hear Me?, Rescue 21, Marine Radios, Good Mate Program, Ocean Conservatory, How to Use Flares, Water Way Watch from Homeland Security, Let’s go Boating 1 & 2, Keep Your Boat Storm Ready, Vessel Examinations demonstrated on Auxiliary Vessel.

May 21, 2011, (10:00-3:00) 3939 N. Ocean Blvd. Boca Raton,FL
Contact: Tom Kegan, 561-391-3600, tom@blossomflower.com

– In commemoration of National Safe Boating Week, a Vessel Safety Check (VSC) event has been planned in concert with local County (Clay County Sheriff’s Office) and State (Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission) marine authorities. Vessel Examiners (VE’s) from Flotilla 14-5 have asked VE’s from throughout Division 14 to participate with us in concurrent VSC missions at five different boat ramps across Clay County over the 2-day weekend.

Saturday, May 21st at Knight’s Marina. (0700 – 12:00)
Contact:Helen Russette, 904-278-1811, helenruss@bellsouth.net

– “Wear It” Boat Parade (with a Fly-over by the USCG helicopter – pending) – May, 21st (Noon). Crystal River, FL
Kings Bay – passing by the Ale House, Pete’s Pier, Ft. Island Trail boat ramps/park and more listed below
This will be our second “Wear It” Boat Parade around Kings Bay, up the Crystal River, passing Crystal River State Archaeological Park and the Crystal River State Preserve Park, to Shell Island and back, ending in Kings Bay.  Contact Information: Linda Jone -Vice Flotilla Commander 352-503-6199, LJones1501@gmail.com

woman-wearing-self-inflating-lifejacket

YourCruisingEditor in safety harness

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