Safety on the water

Cool temperatures and raindrops might have stopped some people from showing up for a boating safety open house Friday morning at Coast Guard Station Grand Haven.
Becky Vargo
May 19, 2013


It didn’t stop local residents Pat Mikesell and George Gordon of Grand Haven.

“We were taking a walk and they invited us in,” Mikesell said. “We see them out there all the time, so it’s cool to see the inside.”

The couple no longer has any powerboats but said they enjoyed touring the lifeboats they see riding the waves of Lake Michigan.

The couple said they were looking forward to seeing the building that is normally off-limits to the public due to Homeland Security regulations.

The building is also off-limits because the crews work in shifts and need some privacy, said Sector Field Office Commander Sean Brady as he opened the event to kick off National Safe Boating Week.

Brady said the focus of the event was education and outreach.

One of the new boating laws that officials wanted to let people know about is that anyone born after July 1, 1996, now has to have a boater safety card to operate a boat, Sgt. Cal Keuning, head of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department Marine Patrol, said.

“You can take the boating safety class online,” said Sgt. Al Bavarskas, a marine safety specialist with the Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

Chief Boatswains Mate Kristian Sova said it’s important to be educated and aware. He said that with the recent flooding, there is still debris floating down the Grand River.

To read more of this story, see Saturday's print of e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.


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