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Coast Guard water sports safety event kicks off National Safe Boating Week

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With a disturbing uptick in 2021 on-water mishaps, a special boating safety “outreach” sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 21, at the main facility of Big Bear Gear, 1874 River Road, Lambertville N.J., to launch this year’s National Safe Boating Week (May 21-27).

In addition, Delaware River rescue unit members will conduct a safety demonstration at 12:30 p.m. off Fireman’s Eddy Boat Ramp. Topics identified as critical to river water sports safety will be presented at the demonstration by volunteers from various NJ-PA first-responder units belonging to the Tri-County Marine Rescue Association. These will include the all-important need to always wear a properly fitting life jacket, and to know your precise location along the river.

“So many people have discovered water sports on the Delaware to be a perfect activity during the pandemic,” said Joanne Moore, who leads Auxiliary Flotilla 014-04-08. “We want to make sure they stay smart, have fun, and be safe since river conditions can change quickly, sometimes in unexpected and potentially dangerous ways,” she added.

Among the activities currently scheduled for the May 21 Outreach at Big Bear Gear are:

* Auxiliarist-staffed “meet and greet” stations for discussions and the distribution of related literature on topics such as selecting proper life jackets, watercraft safety equipment, tying marine knots to secure boats, monitoring weather and river obstacles, and protecting the river environment.

* Availability of pre-scheduled, complimentary Coast Guard-approved vessel safety checks (canoes, kayaks, jet skis and other personal watercraft all are welcomed). Passing such a vessel examination may qualify for a discount on marine insurance premiums with some carriers, and details on how to reserve a time for inspections will be released shortly.

Additional displays and offerings may be added as planning for this Outreach continues by the Auxiliary and its marine river safety partners, including USCGAux FLT 053-17-02 (Warminster).

For information, visit uscgboating.org, safeboatingcampaign.com or bigbeargearnj.com.


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