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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Safe boating week to launch

You're invited...
With the start of this year's boating season upon us we are reminded that safety should not be taken lightly. Annually in America there are nearly 4,000 boating accidents and almost 800 deaths. Connecticut had nearly 60 accidents resulting in 10 deaths last year alone
National Safe Boating week, observed this year between May 21 and May 27, was established to promote awareness of safe boating practices for vessel owners, operators and their guests.

In Stratford, a group of water safety agencies work together within an agreement initiated by the Stratford Waterfront and Harbor Management Commission to respond to and aid each other in immediate response as well as search and rescue. They include Stratford's Police & Fire Marine units, Harbormaster and Coast Guard Auxiliary. Although these agencies exist to respond to maritime emergencies, boating safety is the responsibility of everyone who takes to the water in any type or size vessel.

The public is invited to a gathering of these safety partners at a press conference regarding Boating Safety that will be held on May 23 at 10:30 am at the Birdseye St. Boat launching Coast Guard Aux base. It will be presented by the Stratford Waterfront and Harbor Commission.

Bill Rock, chairman of the Stratford Waterfront and Harbor Management Commission, who is also public affairs officer for the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary will host this event. Rock said, "It is not only important to wear a life jacket but also to take safe boating & seamanship classes, outfit vessels with additional proper safety equipment and practice safe boating habits when on the water. This year we are emphasizing paddle-craft safety. In recent years there has been a significant increase in the amount of fatalities associated with the use of paddle-craft, such as kayaks. Their popularity has grown rapidly over the past decade.  Factoring in fuel prices, there is the potential for even more people to purchase relatively inexpensive, non fuel burning, paddle powered craft to enjoy our waterways. We encourage boaters using any size vessel to put safety first"  

The public will be able to view the Stratford Police and Fire marine units, the harbormaster boat, the Coast Guard Auxiliary patrol boat and a United States Coast Guard RBS-25 response vessel.

Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed. It is unedited here for content and shared in the interest of public safety.


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