Safe Boating Week begins

NAWILIWILI — Shale Shore of the Kauai Sailing Association knows she has whistles — somewhere.

“They’re in a yellow bag about so-so,” Shore said while watching the vessel inspections Sunday. “Someone gave them to us, and I know we have them, I just don’t know where they are.”

Aboard the Kiana Kai, Eric Hadama had some in a secured storage box where his safety equipment is stashed.

“They are United States Coast Guard approved,” said Larry Richardson of the USCG Auxiliary. “The fire extinguisher needs to be USCG approved as well.”

The Kiana Kai had two extinguishers, one USCG approved and the other not.

“It’s a good thing the second extinguisher had a marine rating,” Richardson said. “I’m sure it’s compliant with the USCG requirements.”

Richardson and Mike Horning were helping offer free inspections of recreational boats at the Nawiliwili Small Boat Harbor Sunday as part of National Safe Boating Week on Kauai.

“I just got my certification Friday,” Horning said. “And I was involved in five inspections before having to open up the Puhi Theatrical Warehouse for the matinee. That is really hitting the ground running.”

Glenn Molander, the USCG Auxiliary flotilla commander, manned a table near the turnaround area with literature on safe boating and the requirements needed to clear the inspections.

National Safe Boating Week is an annual initiative sponsored by the USCG and the Coast Guard Auxiliary to highlight the importance of life jackets, purchasing, maintaining and registering an Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon, carrying safety and communi- cation equipment aboard a vessel, and the use of float plans and Paddle Smart stickers.

“Wear It” is the theme for this year’s National Safe Boating Week. Wearing a life jacket is a simple task that can save lives.

Boating, to the unprepared, can be a risky sport, states the safe boating campaign website.

Of the approximately 700 people who die each year in boating-related accidents in the United States, about 70 percent are drowning. The majority of boating accidents are caused by human error, and not by the boat, equipment or environmental factors.

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