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Boating classes improve water safety

Posted: June 12, 2012 - 11:05pm
Special Photo   SPECIAL PHOTO
SPECIAL PHOTO
Special Photo

With the drought firmly in place, the lakes are unable to maintain full water levels. This is more than a nuisance for water recreation, as lower levels mean more caution is needed when boating on the lakes within the Augusta area.

The Corps of Engineers has informed us that the levels will continue to drop, as much as 2 more feet by the middle of July. As the water goes down, the islands and trees get closer to the bottom of your boat, kayak, wake board or water skis.

Knowledge is safety for you and others as you are responsible for your boat and passengers.

Therefore, various organizations, such as the Coast Guard Auxiliary, conduct boating safety classes.

In the Augusta area, we conduct a one-day course, About Boating Safely, once each month from March through August.

At various times, we also conduct a GPS class and more advanced boating classes, such as navigation and communications.

There are two opportunities available now for boaters to equip themselves with the knowledge necessary to ensure a day on the water is safe and enjoyable and does not end in heartbreak.

First, there will be an ABS class on Fort Gordon at 8:30 a.m. Saturday in Building 11307 at Lane Avenue and 12th Street.

The next opportunity to attend a class will be at 9 a.m. June 23 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 902 Hitchcock Dr. SW, Aiken. Please consider attending one of these courses.

Another boating safety service provided by the Auxiliary is the Vessel Safety Check program. We inspect boats, with the owner’s permission, to make sure it meets the minimum federal and state equipment requirements. This is a courtesy service to ensure boating safety; we do not penalize the owner if corrections are necessary.

Contact John VanOsdol at (864) 391-2170 or johnvanosdol@wctel.net to register for a class or set up your vessel inspection.

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