District Directorate Chief - Prevention
The Coast Guard has eleven congressionally mandated missions. One of those missions is Recreational Boating Safety. That mission has been assigned to the Coast Guard Auxiliary. (See the RBS Committee Tab) The core Recreational Boating Safety departments are Vessel Exams (VE), Program Visitor (PV) and Public Education (PE).
Complementing these in the Prevention Directorate are Member Training (MT), Marine Safety (MS), Navigation Systems (NS) and State Liaison Officer (SLO).
The Prevention activities are the ones that interface directly with the shore side boating community, the general public and the businesses that support the boaters. Activities range from vessel exams, boating safety classes, adopt a highway or beach cleanup to manning booths at partner and public events.
Remember, and be aware, that any time you inspect a recreational vessel, distribute materials to a partner, teach a boating safety class, teach other auxiliarists, inspect a commercial fishing vessel, check navigation aids or interact with a state agency . . .
You are on a Coast Guard Mission!
Prevention District Staff Officers (DSO)
“Meaningful Missions in Marine Safety” is a mantra that has been around for a while. But this team has really raised the bar and tempo. The department includes commercial vessel activity, America’s Waterway Watch Program, and assisting the Coast Guard in oil and chemical spills, inspections, harbor patrols, and helps public education including the Sea Partner’s program and Hazardous Waste and Operations (HAZWOPER) presentations.
Traveling on the water is much different than on the land. The “roads” change and both federal (Aids to Navigation - ATON) and private (Private Aids to Navigation - PATON) markers are moved or destroyed. Assisting the Coast Guard in helping to certify and verify these navigational aids is the job of the Navigation Systems team. The group also includes assisting the National Ocean Service (NOS) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in updating nautical and aeronautical charts. Support is given to bridge surveys and administration.
It is imperative that the boating public knows how to boat safely. Without education, the boater would not know the rules for safety and what is needed. Whether it is Boating Safety and Seamanship, About Boating Safety, GPS, Paddle Craft or seminars for elementary schools, this group provides education to the public by knowledgeable and seasoned instructors.
It is necessary for all boaters to have in-date, sufficient and appropriate equipment on their vessel for safety and emergencies. In addition to examining the vessels, the examiner, on a one-to-one basis, educates the boater and encourages the boater to take more education courses.
The public needs to know how we can help them. The Program Visitor both educates the public and distributes the literature the boater sees at displays. Boaters can pick up the literature and contact the Auxiliary for further action. Close relationship of the Program Visitor with the boat dealers, marine retail stores and marinas give the dealers the knowledge of our activities and communicates that information to the boaters.
A lifetime of learning. No individual can contribute fully without adequate and extensive training. The Coast Guard and Auxiliary have extensive training offerings to meet the desires and background of the Auxiliarist. These range from local instruction to formal courses at a Coast Guard training facility. This training can be put to use augmenting the Coast Guard with inspections, pollution investigations, food service or other areas. The goal is to meet the needs of the Coast Guard and boating public by having a well educated and informed member interfacing with them.
States make boating laws. The State Liaison team interfaces with the states to understand the laws, provide input and know what is coming. Of course, with several states and areas to cover by the Seventh District, the team has members in those areas to assist. Not only should we educate and equip the boater, but it must be in compliance with the local laws.
Remember - You are on a Coast Guard Mission