Thursday, May 12, 2011

 Date: May 18, 2010
Contact: Kirk Scarborough
Public Affairs Dept.
Press Release
Coast Guard Auxiliary Establishes New Float Plan
 11 May 2010: The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary announced today its new 2010 Float Plan that offers unprecedented flexibility and ease of use. 

The new float plan allows users of Adobe Reader version 8 or later to save any data they enter into the float plan on their computer for later revision or use.  Users now only need to enter information about their vessel one time.  Data related to specific trips can be added or changed as necessary.  “The ability to save data and e-mail a completed float plan to a friend or relative is a huge convenience for the recreational boater” says Public Affairs Web Branch Chief Vern Jansky.  “It was the most requested feature, and we’re very pleased to be able to offer it in this update.”

The update also includes new data fields, additional user defined fields, and new drop-down lists that show all of the available choices for greater ease of use.  The Vessel Type field has been expanded offering a broader range of recreational vessels to choose from.  The Itinerary section has been enhanced to improve readability.  Also, each field on the plan has an explanatory “tip” that is displayed when the user hovers over the field, providing specific guidance on the type of data that should be entered.

In accordance with the 2010 DHS Appropriations Act, the U.S. Coast Guard terminated the transmission of all U.S. LORAN-C signals on 08 Feb 2010.  Additionally, the International Cospas-Sarsat System ceased satellite processing of 121.5/243 MHz beacons on 1 February 2009.  Although Emergency Locator Transmitters used by aircraft may still be used, alerts from these devices or from 121.5/243 MHz EPIRBs will no longer be acted upon unless detected by an over flying aircraft.  The 2010 Float Plan update reflects these changes with the elimination of LORAN C and EPIRB Class A, B, C, S, and Inmarsat E options.


The updated Float Plan will be available 21 May 2010 worldwide on the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary’s Float Plan Central website:

Man gets 18 months for Hoax distress call to Coast Guard

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Public Affairs
                                                                                                                                                  Date:November 8, 2010
Contact: Anthony Turner
Phone: 310-488-0723                                                                                                                                                              

News Release

Man gets 18 months for Hoax distress call to Coast Guard

WASHINGTON - Most people in America are familiar with 911 and know that a call to 911 is how to summons help in an emergency. Most people also know that making a false 911 call is illegal. Penalties for making a false 911 call have been increased, for example early this year the State of Illinois passed a law that goes into effect on January 1, 2011 imposing greater penalties on individuals found guilty of making a false 911 call.

What most people might not realize is that a false distress call to the U.S. Coast Guard is also a crime. In the boating world a distress call on marine VHF radio channel 16 is the same a placing a 911 call via cell or landline phone.

Recently a Detroit resident was convicted and sentenced in federal court for making a false distress call to the U.S. Coast Guard, according to United States Attorney Barbara McQuade and Captain Stephen Torpey, Chief of Incident Management for the Ninth Coast Guard District.

Andre D. Cheatom, 19 years old, was sentenced to 18 months incarceration, supervised release for three years, a special assessment of $100.00, and ordered to pay $14,302 in restitution for knowingly and willfully causing the Coast Guard to attempt to save lives and property when no help was needed, in violation of Title 14, U.S. Code, section 88(c).

“When members of the Coast Guard respond to a hoax call, they are diverted from people in actual distress,” McQuade said. “We take a hard line on these cases because we want to deter people from making hoax calls.”

“I am concerned that there are people willing to risk the lives of other boaters who might be in legitimate need of rescue or assistance, as well as needlessly endangering response crews, by knowingly making a false distress call,” said Captain Stephen Torpey, Chief of Incident Management for the Ninth Coast Guard District. “This conviction demonstrates the lengths we will go to ensure those who make hoax calls are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary reminds boaters to use their marine radios responsibly.

The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed volunteer Component of the United States Coast Guard created by an Act of Congress in 1939. The Auxiliary, America’s Volunteer Guardians, supports the Coast Guard in nearly all of the service’s missions.

Make a New Year's Resolution That Really Counts

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Public Affairs
January 15, 2011
Contact:  Kirk Scarborough
                                                                            Public Affairs Dept.
                                                                               714 777-2300
Press Release

Make a New Year's Resolution That Really Counts

Check Out the Coast Guard Auxiliary
Kicking off 2011 Welcoming Volunteers

WASHINGTON- If your New Year’s resolution includes finding a meaningful volunteer position, learning new skills and making new friends, you may find a perfect fit with the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary.

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary the uniformed civilian volunteer component of the United States Coast Guard, is actively looking for volunteers interested in serving their country and their community.

There are many places in the Coast Guard Auxiliary where you can make a difference and find a sense of belonging.  The Auxiliary works on the water, in the air and on land.  It conducts safety patrols and search and rescue missions, assists the Coast Guard with homeland security duties, teaches boating safety classes, conducts free boat safety checks and many other activities. People  who have talents in web design, information technology, public affairs and other administrative roles are also needed.

Training opportunities include marine safety and environmental protection, recreational boating safety, outreach, boat crew and coxswain.   Applicants must be a U.S. Citizen, at least 17 years old, and pass a background check.

Interested?   Go to

Winterization Mistakes Could Cost You Your Boat.

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Public Affairs
                                                                                                               Date: October 16, 2010
Phil Bailey  

News Release

Winterization Mistakes Could Cost You Your Boat.

WASHINGTON – Often, boat owners who visit their boats in early spring find their boats nearly under water.. They might or might not get a call from the marina to get down there right away to take care of their boat. Don’t let this happen to you. Don’t make these mistakes which might cost you big bucks or your boat.  
  • Using your Biminis or dodger as a boat cover for winter. Biminis and dodgers are for  sun and spray not for winterization.  Winter is very hard on Biminis and  dodgers causing premature replacement  and possibly letting water or snow into  your boat or cockpit.  
  • Storing  a boat in the water without a cover might  result in it being  underwater. Cockpits have drains that might   clog up with debris causing the cockpit to fill with water, sinking the  boat.  Heavy snow could push a boat with low freeboard underwater.  
  • Not closing  sea cocks stored in the water. Too  many  things can happen to that seacock or the  attached hose  causing the boat to take on  water.
  • Storing a boat  and not winterizing, even in  warmer clime.  Storing ashore can freeze an engine block with an  unexpected cold spell.  Storing in the water may keep the engine block a  little warmer.
  • Petcocks in  the engine block may be clogged when  you tried to drain the engine for winter.  You might not realize that no  water came out of the clogged petcocks. Be sure to visually check if water  drains from each  petcock.  If you do have a clogged  petcock  a  coat hanger works great clearing it.
  • Having the  marina attendant look after your boat  might  be a good idea. No matter whom you pay to  watch your boat it  is always best to check on your boat periodically during  the off season.  Nobody cares more for your boat than you.
The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed volunteer Component of the United States Coast Guard created by an Act of Congress in 1939. The Auxiliary, America’s Volunteer Guardians, supports the Coast Guard in nearly all of the service’s missions.

Refresh Boating Skills During Winter Season

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Public Affairs

November 15, 2010
Contact: Bill Swank
Public Affairs Officer
News Release

Refresh Boating Skills During Winter Season

WASHINGTON Your boat may be out of the water and properly winterized, but you don’t have to wait until spring to begin planning for the next season of enjoyment on the water.  Why not take advantage of the winter lull to refresh your boating skills…or learn new ones…in courses conducted by the local flotilla of the U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary?

Coast Guard Auxiliary flotillas throughout the country conduct a variety of courses to help keep you knowledgeable and safe while operating your boat on the nation’s lakes and rivers… and offshore as well.  Typical courses:

About Boating Safety – an eight hour, in-depth boating safety course necessary to obtain a boat license of safety certification in many states.

GPS for Mariners – a modern learning experience that focuses on the GPS equipment typically owned by recreational boaters and helps an individual learn how to use a GPS for practical recreational boating.

How to Read a Nautical Chart -- a course designed for use at sea to provide the navigator with the knowledge to interpret a chart’s contents, navigate to a destination and return safely to port.

Weekend Navigator – a comprehensive course designed for both experienced and novice powerboat and sailboat operators to help the boating enthusiast learn of hone the skills required for a safe voyage on a variety of waters and under a variety of conditions.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Ready Set Inflate, try two

Help Set a World Record on Saturday, May 21st, 2011
What better way to kick off National Safe Boating week (May 21-27, 2011) than to set a world record, while promoting the use of U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets at the same time?
Participants from around the globe will be gathering to heighten awareness of inflatable life jackets. This year, the National Safe Boating Council and Canadian Safe Boating Council will tally not only the number of participants who inflate their inflatable life jackets during the event, but also those who wear an inherently buoyant life jacket. This way children of all ages can participate and well as paddle crafters who generally do not use inflatables.
If your area is still COLD on May 21st you can still participate. Just don't jump in the water.
To be part of this "World Record Breaking Event Attempt" and break last year’s record of 1,154 participants, register your event at
Those registered will find information on:
a.. The possibility of free replacement cylinders (while supplies last)
b.. The offer for highly discounted replacement cylinders (coupons on website)
c.. Use the Ready Set Inflate website for all its resources, including rosters for the day of the event, 2011 media kits, Public Service Announcements , Press Releases, Video clips on how to inflate, deflate, change the cylinders, and repack, an event checklist and guideline for planning your event (Pre, Day of, and Post event).
a.. Education for those involved in how to properly inspect, re-arm, and repack an inflatable Life Jacket that has been deployed.
b.. This could become an annual training event for Auxiliarist’s to learn about the inner workings of an inflatable Life Jacket so they become comfortable with its operation and therefore more confident when speaking to the public about them.
c.. Order free resources to hand out at your event from
d.. Suggestions on making your event fun! A recommendation: See how many people can keep their eyes open when they pull the cord. Make sure there are lots of cameras to catch their facial expressions, before, DURING, and after the inflation. Don’t only take group shots, but some close ups. Take some video of the inflations. Have a contest for the best facial expression captured! If you can involve the Gold Side in your events.
For additional information and answers to questions contact 2011 USCG Auxiliary/Cabelas National Ready-Set-Inflate Event Coordinator, Michael S. Klacik, at or 908-240-3645.