RBS Outreach Directorate News

Statements of policy or procedure provided by members of the Chief Director's office, national elected officers, or department directors posted on this webpage should be regarded as official statements.

American Canoe Association Introduces Paddle Ready App, SUP Video

The American Canoe Association has introduced a new smartphone application for paddlers. As the ACA explains:

Paddle Ready is a new app designed for paddlers who want to maximize their fun and safety on the water. Free on the App Store and Google Play, this app allows you to:

  • Complete a float plan and email it to your friends
  • Find an ACA Instructor near you
  • Get real-time river forecasting (surf and tidal coming soon) and general weather forecasting
  • Search for Boating Organizations and Offices in your state
  • Have Paddle Safety Checklists for various paddling environments at your fingertips
  • Use the Safety and Rescue How-to Videos to keep your knowledge current
  • And so much more…

To learn more, you can visit the app’s web site.

The ACA has also released a new educational video about stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). The video, available here, discusses general safety and the critical question of when to wear (and not to wear) a life jacket.

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WAVES Newsletter, Spring 2014

United States Coast Guard Auxiliary
Spring 2014
Volume 17  ~  Issue 2
The following is a list of highlights you will find in this issue:
In our December 2013 issue of WAVES, we had a theme of planning for 2014 RBS activities. In this issue, I would like to continue with our planning theme. I would strongly encourage Flotillas across the country to start planning their recreational boating safety events for 2014. In particular, make sure that you plan marine dealer visits, boating safety courses, and vessel safety checks.
Celebrating a Century of Excellence
We honor the United States Power Squadron (USPS) as it celebrates its 100th birthday. Over the years, the USPS has been honored by five US Presidents, the Governors of all 50 States, and has more than 35,000 members across more than 400 squadrons. Their journey has been remarkable from the original founding. Congratulations, and here’s to another 100 years in boating safety.
Meet Rachel Johnson
Rachel Johnson serves as the Director of the National Safe Boating Council, and in this issue of WAVES, we will bring to you an important announcement on the 2014 campaign for recreational boating safety. 
Additional Articles In This Issue
  • Rescue of a kayaker in Michigan, and on a coxswains birthday.
  • Provide you with information from the 18th Annual International Boating & Water Safety Summit.
  • Cover news and updates on Marine Dealer Visits.
  • Feature highlights from the US Coast Guard Auxiliary report on the national meeting of the United States Power Squadron (USPS)
  • Discuss an On-the-Water Boat Training Simulator.
And much more…..
The Workings of GPS: How GPS Works & What To Do When It Doesn’t 
By: PO Joe Carter & LT Hermie Mendoza of the NAVCEN GPS Analysis Team
We use GPS in many areas, such as our boats, cars, hand held units used for hiking, and even on our smart phones, but have you ever wondered how GPS works? Among other factors, it involves time and basic arithmetic. This article is a must read in this issue of WAVES, and will give you a much more thorough understanding of how GPS works, and what you can do when it doesn’t.
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2014 PE and VE Workshops Now Available

The “V” department has put the new 2014 workshops for PE and VE Auxiliarists online. You can access them here.

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West Marine Coupons for 2014

West Marine, one of our boating safety partners, has issued new discount coupons for safety equipment for 2014. Vessel Examiners should carry a stock of these coupons with them to help boaters acquire any safety items they were missing during a vessel examination. A color PDF of the new coupons is here.

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Sample Newspaper Articles on Recreational Boating Safety

A series of 25 newspaper Public Affairs articles promoting Recreational Boating Safety, Public Education and the Coast Guard Auxiliary have been ‘donated’ to the RBS website and are listed in the Document Library here.

These articles have been published in local newspapers in the Augusta, GA and McCormick, SC area, but can be modified for any local area. The articles are 400 to 800 words in length, which should be acceptable for newspaper format and length. The newspaper was eager to have these informative and newsworthy articles for their boating communities. The articles have been posted to be available for copying and modification for any local area. Before publication the articles need to be approved by your FSO-PA and SO-PA.

Some of the articles were written to cover a single subject, while others were intended to be in weekly series. There are two 2-part series one which describes the Coast Guard (and subtly the Coast Guard Auxiliary) in your area, and another on Fire; the first on boating fire prevention and the second on fire response. The four-part series is on Accident Prevention (Navigation Rules simplified) covering various meeting situations and ending with not running aground. Each article then ends with the opportunity to provide flotilla or PE contact information.

If flotilla PA or PE is your interest, these articles may be of interest to you.

With thanks to John VanOsdol, DIR-Ed

Bruce Lindsey, DVC-BR

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New Grants Handbook Online

The latest edition of the Grant Handbook can be referenced from the RBS Outreach Directorate website’s “Document Library” page, and remains valid until the Spring 2014. The direct link to the PDF is here.

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New Issue of WAVES Published

The Recreational Boating Safety Outreach Directorate is pleased to present the current issue of WAVES, Watercraft and Vessel Safety newsletter. The printable PDF is here. We hope that you enjoy the information on USCG Auxiliary boating safety activities, and find the boating and water safety information helpful.

With this issue we also introduce our newly appointed WAVES editor, Branch Chief for newsletters, BC-BRN William Carter from Flotilla 12-8 in Charleston, SC. William is currently Vessel Examiner and Program Visitor qualified. We welcome William to the RBS Outreach staff, and hope that you enjoy the newsletter.

Bruce Lindsey, Chief, Communication Service Division
Recreational Boating Safety Outreach Directorate

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Parasailing Operations: Know Your ROPES

A series of parasail incidents resulting in fatalities and injuries have occurred over the last few years. Since 2006, there have been 11 deaths and 52 injuries as a result of parasailing activities. There have been several common factors in all of these incidents that are unique to parasailing. The following mnemonic ‘Know Your ROPES’ was designed to remind parasail operators of important safety issues that may help prevent future casualties:

Remember that most parasail fatalities and injuries are related to the failure of the towline. Failures have occurred at tensions significantly below the rated towline strengths due to a variety of reasons that may include cyclic loading, long term exposure to environmental elements, the presence of knots creating a weak point, and overloading.

Observe and monitor weather conditions continuously. Increases in wind speed impacts the relative speed against the chute, where limits of the towline and/or chute can quickly be exceeded. As wind speed doubles, the load on the towline may quadruple. Be vigilant in monitoring weather conditions noting the formation of squalls, thunderstorms, or whenever weather fronts are expected to pass through your operational area. Cease operations well before such weather conditions impact your parasailing operation. ASTM Standard F2993-13 published on April 1, 2013 is a ‘Standard Guide for Monitoring Weather Conditions for Safe Parasail Operation’. It is available for purchase and download on line at http://www.astm.org/.

Prepare for emergencies by having well documented procedures and conducting crew training to ensure proficiency in responding to emergencies such as towline breaks, winch failures, propulsion failures, and any other concerns that impact crew/passenger safety.

Ensure that all of your equipment is properly maintained on a continual basis. This includes the winch and drive motor, hydraulic brakes, hoses and piping, spooling systems, and other tackle. Also check your chutes, harnesses, and related components for stitching failures, degradation, and the need for general repairs. Immediately correct identified problems.

Safety is up to you the Operator. Coast Guard Credentialed Operators are expected to provide an adequate level of safety during vessel operations, to include the monitoring of weather conditions and maintenance of equipment.

The Coast Guard encourages owners and operators to work with each other and related industry associations to share best practices and develop operational standards to maximize safety and prevent marine casualties. Enforcement action may be taken against the operator for misconduct or negligent operation.

This alert is provided for informational purposes only and does not relieve any domestic or international requirement. Developed by the Office of Investigations and Analysis, USCG Headquarters, Washington, DC.

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USCG Project Experts Launch National Human Propelled Boat Standards Survey

Portsmouth, RI (July 29, 2013) — A team of experts assembled with U.S. Coast Guard  (USCG) grant funding seeks national content validation of a set of entry level, skill-based Human (manually propelled) boat operation standards. This is your opportunity to impact the development of recreational paddling and rowing (canoes, kayaks, rowboats, paddleboards, etc.) standards across the country by completing this on-line survey.

WHAT:     The National On-Water Standards Team, funded by USCG grants, is seeking input from recreational paddling and rowing educators across the nation on a first-round set of standards to be used to assess the performance of Human propelled boating skills at the entry level. Following the survey, the standards will be updated to reflect input from paddlers and rowers nationwide and eventually validated and updated though a national field-testing program.

WHERE:     https://www.research.net/s/humanv1nationalcontentsurvey

WHEN:     The survey will be conducted July 31 – August 30, 2013.

WHO:     Recreational paddling and rowing enthusiasts and especially those with experience in On-Water teaching or training are urged to participate in an on-line survey designed to collect feedback on the content of these entry-level, skill-based standards for manually propelled boating.

WHY:     By completing this survey you will have a voice in the design of a national set of HUMAN boating standards for recreational paddlers and rowers in the US. This effort is part of the US Coast Guard’s (USCG) vision of a National System of Standards for Recreational Boat Operation – that will organize both classroom and on-water standards within a comprehensive system of recreational boating education. The system will address standards for three domains of recreational boating: SAIL, POWER and HUMAN propulsion.

US Sailing has been awarded grant funding from the U.S. Coast Guard to facilitate a consensus-based process by which a team of diverse SMEs from across the recreational boating community develop entry level, skill-based performance standards for recreational boat operation. An objective grant facilitator is designing and managing the collaborative development of SAIL, POWER and HUMAN propelled standards that will eventually be recognized (not mandated) by the US Coast Guard for incorporation in recreational boating training programs nationwide.

CONTACT:     For more information, please contact K. Brian Dorval at 716-994-2842 or brian@thinkfirstserve.com

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Updated West Marine Coupons

West Marine, one of our boating safety partners, has re-issued their discount coupons for safety equipment. Vessel Examiners should carry a stock of these coupons with them to help boaters acquire any safety items they were missing during a vessel examination. The new coupons are in color, so ideally they should be printed on a color printer. The PDF is here.

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