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Coast Guard Auxiliary

North American Safe Boating Campaign

The North American Safe Boating Campaign is an international project to promote boating safety, encourage boater education, and help to save lives. This annual event occurs during first full week before Memorial Day weekend, which is considered the start of the boating season in most areas. In Southern California, we are fortunate that the weather allows us to continue the boating season all year long. However, it is easy to fall into bad habits. The North American Safe Boating Campaign serves as a chance to remind everyone of the things we can do to make every outing more safe, to ensure we all can have more fun.

Safe Boating Checklist:

By taking just a few simple steps, you can ensure every boating season is safe and fun!

Take a Public Education Course
 To paraphrase one of our Past Flotilla Commanders, you don't know what you don't know, until you find yourself in trouble. Keep boating fun and safe, and easier, by taking a Public Education course. Courses are offered throughout the year, and are free, fun, and informative! Take one of Flotilla 12-4's classes or contact the Flotilla in your local area.
Get a Free Vessel Safety Check
 Vessel Safety Checks are performed by Auxiliary members who are trained to inspect your boat for the proper safety equipment, which can not only help you avoid tickets and comply with local and federal laws, but, will also help ensure you are more prepared in an emergency. This inspection is not for law-enforcement purposes, it is for your education and piece of mind. You have nothing to lose! E-mail to schedule a Vessel Exam today! We come to you! Check back soon for information on upcoming Flotilla 12-4 Vessel Safety Check Days at areas all over Southern California. Here are a few tips on what the Vessel Examiners will be looking for, to help you be sure your boat is ready.
Keep Informed
  Always check the local Notice to Mariners (updated weekly), and local weather reports. The Flotilla 12-4 Boaters' Resource page is a good starting point to developing your own bookmarks for information.
Have a Plan for Emergencies
 Teach all passengers where the radio is, and how to use it to call for help. Always file a float plan. If something goes awry, this is an invaluable tool to help rescuers to find you.
Wear Your Life Jacket!

Which Life Jacket (PFD) Is Right for You?

TYPE I - Offshore Life Jacket:
This PFD is designed for extended survival in rough, open water. It usually will turn an unconscious person face up and has over 22 pounds of buoyancy. This is the best PFD to keep you afloat in remote regions where rescue may be slow in coming.

TYPE II - Near Shore Buoyant Vest:
This "classic" PFD comes in several sizes for adults and children and is for calm inland water where there is chance of fast rescue. It is less bulky and less expensive than a Type I, and many will turn an unconscious person face-up in the water.

TYPE III - Flotation Aid:
These life jackets are generally considered the most comfortable, with styles for different boating activities and sports. They are for use in calm water where there is good chance of fast rescue since they will generally not turn an unconscious person face-up. Flotation aids come in many sizes and styles.

TYPE V - Special Use Device:
Special use PFDs include work vests, deck suits, and hybrids for restricted use. Hybrid vests contain some internal buoyancy and are inflatable to provide additional flotation.

TYPE IV - Throwable:
A ring or cushion flotation device, designed to be thrown to assist someone who has fallen overboard. Any boat 16ft and longer (except canoes and kayaks) must carry one throwable PFD (Type IV PFD), in addition to the required wearable PFDs.

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Coast Guard Auxiliary

12-4, The Los Angeles Flotilla
A unit of Division 12, Eleventh Coast Guard District, Southern Region