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Dear Tim, . . . I just wanted to drop you a line and thank you for your very informative article in Sunday’s April 15 newspaper on boating safety.
Our local organization also offers boating safety and educational courses. We used to do it on a regular semi-annual schedule when we were able to use the Naval Reserve, but after Sept. 11, they no longer allow outside organizations to use the building due to security reasons. Currently, we hold our classes wherever we can and whenever we get notice that a group wants our help. We also hold courses at the Corps of Engineers office at West Point Lake . . .
We are excited about the plans to upgrade the Lake Oliver Marina and hope the new building will be ready in a few years. Until then, we will continue to hold courses at the new library. It is a wonderful site and has great classrooms. The only problem is reserving the space more than a month in advance so we can get the word out in time to advertise . . . There are two Web sites you and your readers can check out. Our Web site is www.chatwebdesign.com/ MUSPS and the national organization’s Web site is www.usps.org, and both have sections concerning our courses.
Every year it is getting harder to get the word out that even small craft, bass boat and personal watercraft operators need to take safety courses. It’s the same old problem that many individuals think, “It will never happen to me . . .” On both Web sites are some examples that allow the reader to test their knowledge by taking a boating quiz.
We also take an active role in ensuring the safety of the recreational vessels on our waters through our Vessel Safety Check program. If anyone would like to have their boat checked, we can provide them with a trained vessel examiner. Several weekends a year we set up at local marinas to offer our services. Many boaters think we are there to give out safety violation tickets and try to avoid us. If there is a problem with an individual’s boat, we will give them a list of the problem items, and after they fix the problems, they can come back to us to receive their safety emblem for their boat! We do not have any police or ranger responsibilities.
National Safe Boating Week is May 19-25. If you need any additional information for any future articles or columns, I or one of our squadron’s members will be glad to provide it . . .
Charles E. Hall Sr.,
Muscogee Sail and Power Squadron.
Thanks. You know, "Power Squadron" also would be a good name for a league of superheroes on a Saturday cartoon show. One could be "The Vessel Examiner."