In an effort to make area waterways safer, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary based at Thurmond Lake will offer a monthly safety course in Martinez beginning Saturday.
Local auxiliary flotilla Cmdr. John VanOsdol is offering the eight-hour America's Boating Course to individuals and families beginning at 8 a.m. at the Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue headquarters on Desoto Drive.
The course trains boaters about vessel types and their performance, basic boating safety, navigation, proper operating procedures, legal requirements and emergency scenarios.
"It's a basic boating course and it teaches a person all they need to know to be safe on the water," VanOsdol said. "(It) is designed for someone new to boating or has been away from it for a while."
Boating education courses are required by Georgia and South Carolina law for boaters under age 18, he said. Completion of the course can improve insurance rates and is geared for adults and juveniles 16 and older.
VanOsdol said the auxiliary, which is charged with conducting safety and security patrols on the nation's fresh waterways, plans to conduct the courses one Saturday per month. Courses are scheduled to follow on April 28 and May 26.
Registration for the course is required, and participants will receive an instructional book and CD. The class is $35 for individuals and $50 for families.
To register, contact Van-Osdol at (864) 391-2170 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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