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Coast Guard Station open house, boat safety checks Saturday

Becky Vargo • May 17, 2019 at 9:00 AM

The public is invited to Coast Guard Station Grand Haven on Saturday for an open house as the crew kicks off National Safe Boating Week.

The open house will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the station, 601 S. Harbor Ave. Visitors can tour the stations and boats, and speak to members of the Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary about safe boating, the importance of life jackets and safety checks. The auxiliary will help size life jackets and schedule dock-side vessel safety checks.

Members of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office, Central Dispatch, Grand Haven Department of Public Safety and other government agencies will have displays to educate and engage the public.

National Safe Boating Week, May 18-24, is an annual observance sponsored by the National Safe Boating Council, endorsed by the U.S. Coast Guard, and promoted by state and local agencies throughout the country. The campaign promotes safe and responsible boating and water safety, including the value of wearing a life jacket. Boaters are encouraged to always wear life jackets, maintain a vigilant lookout, share the waterway and boat sober.

Boat safety checks

On Saturday, the Grand Haven Flotilla of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will also be offering safety checks from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Keenan Marina, 526 Pine St., Ferrysburg; and at Barrett Boat Works, 819 W. Savidge St., Spring Lake.

Qualified vessel examiners from the auxiliary will also be available at various times during the boating season to explain new state rules that went into effect March 21. The rules involve actions required by boaters to prevent cross contamination of invasive species. Before transporting any watercraft over land, boaters are required to remove all drain plugs from bilges, ballast tanks and live wells; drain all water from live wells and bilges; and ensure the watercraft, trailer and all conveyances are free of aquatic organisms, including plants.

For more information, or to schedule a free vessel safety exam, boaters may go to www.cgaux.org or contact any local U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary flotilla representative.

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