Monday, September 14, 2009

About Boating Safely Class October 8th and 10th at Saylorville Lake

The Coast Guard Auxiliary will be offering the About Boating Safely class to the public. This class will be held in two parts:

Thursday, October 8th from 6:00 to 9:00 pm
Saturday, October 10th from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm

About Boating Safely includes a wide variety of information. Whether you choose a classroom boating class or your state's online course, you'll learn:

-General information about boats and maintenance
-Information on preparing for safe and enjoyable outings
-Navigation rules and aids to navigation
-Guidelines for operating your boat or PWC safely
-What to do in case of boating emergencies
-State-specific laws and regulations you must follow

In general, this information applies to all recreational watercraft (powerboats, PWCs, sailboats and boats which are paddled). PWC and Jet Ski operators often have additional laws and restrictions which apply to them.

The cost of the course is $20 and includes the book and certificate. If a family wishes to come together a discount can be requested. The class will be taught at the Saylorville Lake, Oak Woods Learning Center just south of the Corps of Engineers Station.

Pre-registration is required. Please call 515- 681 - 1725 or e-mail us at boatingsafety to register.

Friday, September 11, 2009

August / September Edition of Above Board Newsletter

The new edition of Above Board is available at

This month's newsletter has articles about our Labor Day and Des Moines River mission operations, our public education activities. Thank you to all of our contributors who made this month's edition possible. The submission deadline for Above Board is the first Friday of each month. Photos, narratives, and information is always appreciated.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Labor Day Weekend Activities Promote Boating Safety At Saylorville Lake

Auxilarists Norma Newton (left) and Phil Patterson (right) patrol on Saylorville Lake on Labor Day weekend. This was the first time that Flotilla 4 patrolled with just two PWCs.
(US Coast Guard Auxiliary Photo by Doug Jansen)

Labor Day Weekend traditionally marks the end of the boating season in Iowa. This Labor Day Weekend Flotilla 4 made it a point to make an effort to push boating safety.

A First for Flotilla 4 was a two PWC patrol. Auxilarists Norma Newton and Phil Patterson and their PWC's performed a safety patrol on Saylorville Lake. Their patrol was to look for boaters in distress and encourage life jacket wear for children.

Flotilla 4 members visited local Recreational Boating Safety Partners in the Des Moines area to distribute boating safety literature.

Finally Flotilla 4 and Flotilla 6 provided free courtesy vessel safety checks at Big Creek Marina, Saylorville Lake Marina and the Lake View and Cherry Glen Boat Ramps. These vessel safety checks were a review of required safety equipment for local boaters. Because of the ongoing boater education we have conducted the vast majority of these vessels passed inspection.

Looking for boaters in distress is Auxilarist Phil Patterson.
(US Coast Guard Auxiliary Photo by Doug Jansen)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Des Moines River Safety Patrol

Flotilla 4's boats and PWC line up to pass by the Birdland Marina as they get underway for a safety patrol on the Des Moines River. Auxilarist Norma Newton is on the PWC, John Halbrook and Ron Longnecker are on the Jon Boat, and Travis Daniels and Wendy Faganel are on the Lady Grace.

(U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Photo By Doug Jansen)

Flotilla 4 was asked to help with the 8th Annual River Run Garbage Grab event on the Des Moines River by providing a safety patrol of the river. This event allows volunteers the opportunity to remove trash from the river or along its adjacent trails. Paddlers, rowers, power boaters, walkers and hikers participate in the clean up effort.

Removing a large amount of garbage by boat can create safety issues on the river. Additionally, a few weeks earlier there was a boating accident in downtown Des Moines that resulted in a drowning. The Coast Guard Auxiliary patrolled the river to help boats in distress and help to prevent further accidents.

This year Flotilla 4 was able to provide four boats and 16 Auxilarists to support the patrol mission on the Des Moines River that day. The patrol area was from the Sycamore Ramp to downtown Des Moines. Two personal watercraft (PWC), a jon boat and the Lady Grace patrolled that day in order to aid boaters in distress. A few boaters were found that had problems and one of them required a tow to the nearest ramp.

At that same time a temporary radio base was setup at the Sycamore Ramp and also at the Birdland Marina to coordinate the patrol boats on the river. At Birdland Marina, Flotilla 4 conducted free courtesy vessel safety checks for boats going out for the day on the river.

Coast Guard Auxilarist Roland Newton runs the radios at the temporary AUX Base at Birdland Marina. He was standing radio watch for the Coast Guard Auxiliary boats on the Des Moines River.

(U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Photo By Doug Jansen)