Saturday, January 22, 2022

Safe Boating



By Laurie Harris
US Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 95

Did you know that if you were born before Jan. 1, 1988, you can buy a boat and immediately drive it home with no prior boating experience necessary? That means so can your fellow boaters.

Safe boating doesn’t just happen. It requires dedication by the captain and crew of a boat. We’ve all heard the phrase “red, right, returning,” but when you live on an island, when are you returning and when are you headed back out to sea? You know who has the right of way at a four-way stop sign, but what are the “rules of the road” for the water?

In addition to safety, Marco Island offers some of the best and most challenging waters to fish and explore. One good storm and the sandbars have shifted. Once-deep water is now too shallow to pass at low tide.

The Coast Guard Auxiliarty offers several classes that will help you be a safe boater. Classes offered include: Boating Skills and Seamanship, Suddenly in Command, GPS and Boater’s Local Knowledge — covering Marco, Goodland and the 10,000 Islands.

Boating Skills and Seamanship began on Oct. 6 and runs on Monday and Thursdays until October 30. To see the full list of classes offered, please go to: or contact Marian Harris at

If you have already taken a class and need a refresher, you are always welcome to sit in on any class or the whole program.

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