Friday, October 22, 2021

Boating Skills Course Offered

The snowbirds have flown, and the island is quiet. Just the right time to take care of the things your busy season schedule wouldn’t permit. Your local Coast Guard Auxiliary group, Flotilla 95, is offering a summer session of the Boating Skills and Seamanship (BS&S) course. This is a boating around Marco Island 101 course. This is an eight-session course presented over four weeks. The class will meet Monday and Thursday evenings from 7 PM to 9:30 PM at the Flotilla Station at Caxambas Park, starting on July 9th. If this course is filled, there will be another one offered in October. To register, contact Joe Riccio at or 239-384-7416

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has released their annual report on boating accidents. “For 2017, the leading contributor to boating accidents was the operator’s inattention or failure to maintain a proper lookout. It is critical for operators to be diligent in observing and being aware of what is going on around them,” said Lt. Seth Wagner from the FWC’s Boating and Waterways Section.

The FWC reported that Florida had 766 boating accidents in 2017, which is 52 more accidents than in 2016. However, the number of fatalities remained the same. Sadly, 67 people lost their lives last year in boating accidents in Florida alone.

Flotilla 95 and the FWC continue their efforts to reduce the number of boating-related fatalities through education and the importance of wearing life jackets while boating.

To that end, the BS&S course will provide the new boater all the basics of boating around the Marco Island area. It covers boating safety, boat handling, waterway markers, navigation, weather and using the VHF radio, always with an emphasis on what makes boating in our area different such a three-foot plus tides, lots of shallow water – and especially – the beauty of the Ten Thousand Islands and the fishing!

Set aside a little time and commit to safe boating. Come join us for an informative, practical, and fun course. This course meets the requirements for the Florida Safe Boating Card and is approved by the U.S Coast Guard.

It is also important to note that many boat insurance plans offer discounts for boaters who have taken this course and obtain their Florida Safe Boating Card.

For more information and to register for the course, please contact Joe Riccio at or 239-384-7416. For information on joining the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, call Bob Shmihluk at 215-694-3305.

To read the full FWC Boating Accident report for 2017, visit the FWC website at

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