National Safe Boating Week began on May 19 and we supported it with two events. One was a flare shoot that is discussed elsewhere in this newsletter, and the other was the United States Power Squadrons’ Partner in Command seminar that we offered to the boating community. The Partner in Command seminar addresses the notion that it’s a good idea to have one or more of your crew know how to do some basic boat operations in case you, the captain, can’t perform what’s necessary to safely address the situation. It’s also fun for some crew to learn to do things on the boat. The aim of the seminar is to introduce boaters to some of the key operational functions required to safely operate a boat.
What would be useful for crew to know? Here’s some key items that are addressed in the seminar: calling for help with a marine radio to make an emergency call to the Coast Guard, the Harbor Patrol, or another nearby boat; slowing or driving the boat or turning the engine on or off; handle a fire extinguisher; keep the boat off the rocks or other obstacle by anchoring; guide the boat to a safe location; making visual distress signals including hand held and/or launched flares; or just knowing the rules of the road. One doesn’t have to be expert or very experienced to handle these situations adequately enough to help in an emergency – any knowledge helps.
People actually got to use hand held and launched flares during the flare shoot and Steve York taught the Partner in Command seminar that covered the topics mentioned earlier. Steve provided the following paragraphs about the seminar:
“To kick off Safe Boating week the Squadron presented a seminar entitled Partner in Command on Saturday May 19th. This seminar is intended for people who go boating as a passenger but may not be familiar with boating and want to become more comfortable on the water. It is also an excellent refresher for skippers about basic knowledge that would be important for their passengers.
The three-hour seminar was presented by Steve York with lots of support from Rich Ciolino. Topics included everything from safety to boat operation to emergencies. Attendees had lots of interest and questions which prompted Rich and Steve to provide many personal experiences and anecdotes to supplement the seminar material.
In three hours it’s not possible to cover all the details of the many seminar topics e.g. anchoring, how to use a marine radio, etc. so we emphasized the recommendation to follow the seminar with on the water practice. The seminar materials will be a useful checklist and guide. We encouraged attendees to pick a couple of topics for each trip and practice them.
Participants told us it was a success and hit the right expectations. We’ll plan to do it again!”
If you have any questions or suggestions feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 805-682-4543. Sail safely!