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Agencies stress safety as boat season nears

Two area waterway law enforcement agencies want the public to become more aware of boating safety.

Monday, March 12, 2001

Two area waterway law enforcement agencies want the public to become more aware of boating safety.

Both the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department and the U.S. Coast Guard are planning safety courses and public awareness events this spring.

The sheriff’s department Marine Patrol Program will participate in a safety day throughout county schools in early May, and has plans for the national boating safety week afterward, said Det. Carol Kitts.

Since its inception, the patrol has also held safety courses – now required by the State of Ohio – and visited schools, Ms. Kitts said.

"Safety, and education about safe boating to adults and youngsters is very needed, considering the Ohio River attracts many for boat recreation," she said.

Currently, the patrol is holding a boat safety course for Collins Career Center students. There is another public safety course that will be announced for April. And, the patrol’s mascots, the Splash Test Dummies, are available for visits to schools, Ms. Kitts said.

Safety courses, which are free, are required for boaters that fall within certain age categories in Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky, she said.

The Marine Patrol Program’s courses meet requirements for all three states. Contact the sheriff’s department at 532-3525 for more information.

The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 23, located at the Marine Safety Office in Huntington, W.Va., also has scheduled an upcoming boating skills and safety course designed for public recreational boaters.

The course begins the auxiliary’s activities for public awareness for the upcoming National Boating Safety Week, May 19-25.

The safety course begins Tuesday, March 13, at 7 p.m. Classes will be held on Tuesdays at the Marine Safety Office located at 1415 6th Ave. in Huntington. The course will cover such topics as: aids to navigation, "rules of the road" and boating safety, Coast Guard officials said.

Pre-registration is recommended and the class is limited to 30 participants. There is a charge of $20 for the course materials. For more information, contact staff officer Jim Perry at 529-5524.