Kauai celebrates safe boating

LIHUE — A life jacket challenge spearheaded by Sea Scout Tessa Ramsey of the SSS Decisive launched National Safe Boating Week observances Saturday at Nawiliwili Small Boat Harbor.

“Tessa was instrumental in getting the life jacket station built up to how it is today,” said U.S. Coast Guard Executive Petty Officer Clay Wilburn.

Michael Winiarski, USCG Station Kauai officer in charge, said National Safe Boating Week is observed May 20-26 and puts safe boating practices into a touchable, see-able, interactive perspective to promote boating safety.

“We are pretty lucky to have smart boaters on Kauai,” said Ann Leighton of the Coast Guard Auxiliary. “Auxiliarist Glenn Wolander and several other auxiliarists have taught boating classes, and because our boaters are pretty good, we can celebrate by offering special presentations to the Kauai Fire Department, the Ocean Safety Bureau and the County of Kauai.”

Boating on Hawaiian waters can pose an extraordinary risk for the unprepared. The vast majority of boating-related tragedies are attributed to human error, vessel operators not being properly trained in safe boat handling, and the lack of proper safety equipment aboard vessels, the Coast Guard said.

“We hope to keep improving and enhancing the cooperation and joint training with each other to offer even better protection for everyone,” Leighton said.

Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. was given a USCG Station Kauai coin by Winiarski, an honor usually given only on very special occasions.

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