BRUNSWICK COUNTY – At town and county board meetings throughout the area, the towns of Boiling Spring Lakes, Caswell Beach, Oak Island, Southport, St. James, and the County of Brunswick will sign official proclamations declaring the week of May 19 – 25, 2018, National Safe Boating Week in each community.

Every year prior to the boating season, the National Safe Boating Council along with the U.S. Coast Guard, USCG Auxiliary and other organizations seek to advance and promote a safer recreational boating experience through education, outreach and training. Area towns have joined with USCG Station Oak Island and USCG Auxiliary Flotilla 10-05 to raise awareness of safe boating in the area.

Safe boating begins with preparation. The Coast Guard estimates that human error accounts for 70 percent of all boating accidents and that life jackets could prevent more than 80 percent of boating fatalities. Through basic boating safety procedures – carrying lifesaving emergency distress and communications equipment, wearing life jackets, attending safe boating courses, participating in free boat safety checks, and staying sober when navigating – we can help ensure boaters on America’s coastal, inland, and offshore waters stay safe throughout the season.

To make sure your boat has all the necessary safety equipment, the Coast Guard Auxiliary provides courtesy safety vessel examinations. All safety checks are performed free of charge without any legal obligations or penalties. Vessels passing safety checks are awarded a U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary decal that informs law enforcement and safety agencies that your boat was in full compliance with Federal and State boating laws during the safety check. For exact times and locations or to arrange an appointment with a vessel examiner, contact David Tester at 413-454-2936 or tester.auxve@gmail.com

Promoting water and boating safety is an important part of Flotilla 10-5’s mission. Nearly 100 flotilla members volunteer their time supporting Coast Guard efforts that serve boaters in the lower Cape Fear and coastal Brunswick area. To learn more about the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and Flotilla 10-5’s activities in Brunswick County, go to facebook.com/Flotilla10.05 or, to attend a meeting, contact Chris Halladay at challaday@ec.rr.com.