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It is half way through the 2010 summer boating season and Go2marine wants you to stay safe. Here are some reminders of safe water and boating rules. The first rule of boating is to stay aboard and not have an accident. The second rule is PFDs are the key to survival when in the water.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the USCG offer these tips for safe boating and play in the water.

  1. Don’t Swim Alone: Do not allow children to swim without an adult. Even adults should never swim alone. It is best to swim with others. In a pool, swim at a depth that is safe for you. If you’re just learning to swim, stay in the shallow end. Keep in mind that swimming at night increases all risks.
  2. Follow Regulations: If you are at a public pool or beach, follow all regulations and lifeguard directions. Depth markers are important. You should never dive into shallow water. Additionally, if there is not a lifeguard on duty, you should take extra safety precautions.
  3. Learn to Swim and Boat: If you have a pool, or your family takes part in water activities, it is very important that you know how to swim. Learning basic swimming and boating techniques can save lives. Check with your local YMCA or community pool for information on swimming lessons from a certified swimming instructor. Most States and the USCG Auxiliary offer safe boating courses.
  4. Safety Equipment: It is important to keep rescue equipment by the pool or on your boat. PFDs – Life preservers and life jackets should be easy to access in case of an emergency. Additionally, adults and teens should know CPR. Statistics show that when CPR is performed, it improves the outcome for drowning victims.
  5. PFDs – Flotation Vests: When boating, you should wear a US Coast Guard-approved flotation vest, regardless of your swimming abilities. Even while wading in the ocean, at the lake or in a river, it is recommended to wear a personal flotation device; and is especially important for inexperienced swimmers and children. Remember, water wings, noodles, inner tubes and rafts should never take the place of an approved PFD.
  6. Designated Areas: Swim only at designated beaches or in swimming areas marked with buoys that keep boaters, water skiers and jet skiers away. If you cross these buoys, you run the risk of not being seen by boaters, and you could potentially be injured. Additionally, rip currents, tides and water depths may be deterrent the farther out you swim. Remember, designated swimming areas are the safest place to swim. 
  7. Don’t Drink* and Swim: At times, your swimming activities may also include a family BBQ or picnic. However, it is important to remember that alcohol and water sports don’t mix. Your chances of drowning or becoming injured increase greatly when under the influence of alcohol. Additionally, many beaches do not allow alcoholic beverages.
  8. Surf Conditions: Ask a lifeguard about surf conditions before swimming in the ocean. Rip tides are dangerous and can catch even the best swimmers off guard. If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore. Once you are free of the current, swim toward the shore. Rip currents can be recognized as water that is discolored, choppy, foamy or filled with debris and moving in a channel away from the shore. Report any hazardous conditions to the lifeguard on duty.
  9. Warning Flags: Beaches post warning flags to alert swimmers of the day’s conditions. Be sure to check these flags before entering the water.

The USCG has enforced a nation wide crackdown on bow riding. One of the most likely ways to get killed or maimed on a boat is to ride on the front, or bow, U.S. Coast Guard officials warned while announcing a crackdown on the practice. Even having on a life vest may not help the person who falls overboard, officials said, since the boat’s hull and the propeller can pose serious and immediate threats of injury.

Speaking to the Washington Post, USCG Petty Officer 2nd Class Nathan Henise said compared the practice of riding on the front of a boat to riding on a car’s hood. “Would you put your child on the hood of your car and ride around?” he asked rhetorically.

The top five contributing factors to the accidents included boat operator inattention and inexperience, excessive speed, improper lookout and alcohol consumption. The report states that *alcohol consumption “continues to be of major concern” in fatal accidents, and was the leading factor in 16 percent of deaths.

In addition, a full 86 percent of boat operators involved in fatal accidents had not received boat safety instruction.

Bay Sailing

Some sobering statistics to ponder, did you know that:

  • Swimming is the third most popular recreational activity in the US.
  • Children from non-swimming households are eight times more likely to be at-risk of drowning.
  • According to the United States Lifesaving Association, rip currents cause approximately 100 deaths annually in the United States.
  • According to the USCG, drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death among children younger than the age of 15.
  • The CDC also estimates an average of 10 people — adults or children — drown every day in this country.
  • 92% of children who survive a drowning are discovered within two minutes following submersion, and 86% children who die are found after 10 minutes.
  • A total of 4,730 accidents recorded by the Coast Guard in 2009 caused 736 deaths, over 3,300 injuries and about $36 million in property damage.

Enjoy yourself, take your time and wear a PFD while boating. Play safe, know how to swim and have a buddy when in the water. Complete a safe boating course whether you are a new or long time boater.

In parting, here is something you can do to prevent the other common ‘fall overboard’ situation.

Rescue Swimmer Lowered to 3 on Capsized Catamaran

Catamaran Capsized – 3 saved by EPIRB & USCG

The USCG Group Humbolt Bay rescued 3 from the 32-foot catamaran, Cataylist on Saturday July 3rd, 2010. The vessel was transiting from Crescent City to Alameda, California, when it encountered rough sea conditions as reported in D11.USCGNews.com.

The crew activated the EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) in stormy seas, just minutes before a set of massive waves capsized the vessel, with 50 knot winds and 20 foot + waves knocked the boat completely upside down, pinning all three underneath.

Once the EPIRB was activated, the USCG used the registration information from the beacon to contact the family of the vessel’s crew. The crew had left a float plan with the family. The float plan information included a description of the boat, number of passengers aboard, a description of the safety equipment aboard, destination and estimated time of arrival.

“The float plan allowed us to confirm information about the vessel, create a better plan and expedite our search,” said Lt. George Suchanek, an MH-65C Dolphin helicopter pilot that responded to the call.

After escaping the overturned vessel, the three crew members were clinging to the hull while in the frigid Pacific waters 20 miles off Fort Bragg on the Northern California coast. The US Coast Guard helicopter was able to home in on the signal given by the EPIRB and retrieve the crew with the help of a rescue swimmer, hoisting them aboard the helicopter. All three sailors were showing signs of hypothermia.

EPIRBs & Personal Locators

“That EPIRB saved their lives,” stated USCG Lt. George Suchanek.

PLB’s (Personal Locator Beacons) and EPIRB’s (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) offer a measure of safety when all else has gone wrong. The ability to be found alive and fast can make the difference between life or death when in the cold waters of an unforgiving storm.

An EPIRB‘s signal can be turned on in an emergency to transmit the GPS position and identity of the vessel along with other information to a network of satellites orbiting the earth. The USCG monitors all EPIRB activations.

For the full length Video’s from the USCG, see below.

Video-Coast Guard Group Humboldt Bay units rescue three from overturned sailboat

Video-Coast Guard Group Humboldt Bay units rescue three from overturned sailboat part 2

Go2marine carries ClearView Ragasco fiberglass lpg propane cylinders…

ClearView Ragasco fiberglass propane tanks are perfect for many outdoor activities. A customer called us recently to request a set of these propane tanks. The use was unique, but not rare; the customer was looking for a better, less expensive LPG cylinder than an aluminum propane tank. His designated purpose for the clear view propane tank was for horse packing, to be used when leading overnight trips. The corroded steel tanks that had been banging around in pack boxes were to be replaced with rugged fiberglass tanks that were lighter and corrosion resistant.

Attractive, Easy to see the level of fuel and Ruggedly built make this propane tank perfect for many outdoor activities.

Clear View Fiberglass Propane Tanks, 10 & 20 Pound Gallon Tanks

Primary benefits of the Clear View Fiberglass Propane Tank by Ragasco are:

  • Lightweight – 50% lighter than steel
  • Translucent tank always shows the volume of fuel
  • Rugged – on par with metal tanks in safety tests
  • Corrosion proof
  • Quiet, no banging metal

The Clear View fiberglass propane tanks are made in 2 useful sizes, 3 and 5 gallons. The uses for this tank can be found with many Overland or Eco-tour companies, including:

  • Commercial river rafting
  • Horse packing and guiding
  • Jetboat and airboat tours
  • Large sea kayak trips
  • Desert excursions
  • Sailing and power boating
  • Overland vehicle tours
  • Teardrop and vintage trailers
  • Field camp support
  • Fly-in fishing and hunting camps
  • as well as powering propane campfires on Eco-tours in sensitive areas

So, whether you have a Yurt with a stove or a boat with a BBQ, these tanks will make things just a little bit easier!

 From the USCG Internet Notice,

http://www.sarsat.noaa.gov/

http://www.uscg.mil/global/widget/beacon.asp

The USCG and NOAA have issued a notice that 121.5 and 243 MHz emergency beacons will no longer be monitored by satellite after February 1, 2009. This is an international agreement that 406 will be the only recognized satellite emergency signal.

NOTE – – Pilots are reminded and encouraged to monitor 121.5 MHz from their cockpit to listen for other aircraft that may be in distress.

406 EPIRB Frequencies will continue as the primary satellite rescue frequency. Please ensure that you are indeed using a 406 EPIRB (Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacons) or PLB (Personal Locator Beacons).

Go2marine only carries 406.037 MHz, EPIRBs and PLBs from recognized manufactures such as ACR, Mcmurdo and Spot, that are approved by COSPAS-SARSAT, R&TTE, or the FCC. Go2marine also sells EPIRBs that are certified to pass the country of origin for any international vessel.

 

COSPAS-SARSAT rescue information

Number of Persons Rescued in 2009 (As of January 15) in the United States:  6
Rescues at sea:  3 people rescued in 2 incidents
Aviation rescues:  1 person rescued in 1 incident
PLB rescues:  2 people rescued in 2 incidents

Number of Persons Rescued in 2008 in the United States: 283

Rescues at sea:  203 people rescued in 65 incidents
Aviation rescues:  12 people rescued in 7 incidents
PLB rescues:  68 people rescued in 35 incidents

United States Number of Persons Rescued – 6,045 People Rescued  (since 1982)

Worldwide Number of Persons Rescued – Over 24,500+ People Rescued  (since 1982)

406 MHz EPIRBs
The 406 MHz EPIRB was designed to operate with satellites. The signal frequency (406 MHz) has been designated internationally for use only for distress. Other communications and interference, such as on 121.5 MHz, is not allowed on this frequency. Its signal allows a satellite local user terminal to accurately locate the EPIRB (much more accurately — 2 to 5 km vice 25 km — than 121.5/243 MHz devices), and identify the vessel (the signal is encoded with the vessel’s identity) anywhere in the world (there is no range limitation). These devices are detectable not only by COSPAS-SARSAT satellites which are polar orbiting, but also by geostationary GOES weather satellites. EPIRBs detected by the GEOSTAR system, consisting of GOES and other geostationary satellites, send rescue authorities an instant alert, but without location information unless the EPIRB is equipped with an integral GPS receiver.  EPIRBs detected by COSPAS-SARSAT (e.g. TIROS N) satellites provide rescue authorities location of distress, but location and sometimes alerting may be delayed as much as an hour or two. These EPIRBs also include a 121.5 MHz homing signal, allowing aircraft and rescue craft to quickly find the vessel in distress. These are the only type of EPIRB which must be certified by Coast Guard approved independent laboratories before they can be sold in the United States.

A new type of 406 MHz EPIRB, having an integral GPS navigation receiver, became available in 1998.  This EPIRB will send accurate location as well as identification information to rescue authorities immediately upon activation through both geostationary (GEOSAR) and polar orbiting satellites.  These types of EPIRB are the best you can buy.

406 MHz emergency locating transmitters (ELTs) for aircraft are currently available. 406 MHz personnel locating beacons (PLBs) are available.

The Coast Guard recommends you purchase a 406 MHz EPIRB, preferably one with an integral GPS navigation receiver. A Cat I EPIRB should be purchased if it can be installed properly.

406 MHz GEOSAR System
The major advantage of the 406 MHz low earth orbit system is the provision of global Earth coverage using a limited number of polar-orbiting satellite.  Coverage is not continuous, however, and it may take up to a couple of hours for an EPIRB alert to be received.  To overcome this limitation, COSPAS-SARSAT has 406 MHz EPIRB repeaters aboard three geostationary satellites, plus one spare: GOES-W, at 135 deg W; GOES-E, at 75 deg W; INSAT-2A, at 74 deg E; and INSAT-2B (in-orbit spare), at 93.5 deg E.  Ground stations capable of receiving 406 MHz.  Except for areas between the United Kingdom and Norway, south of the east coast of Australia, and the area surrounding the Sea of Okhotsk near Russia, as well as polar areas, GEOSAR provides continuous global coverage of distress alerts from 406 MHz EPIRBs.

Note that GEOSAR cannot detect 121.5 MHz alerts, nor can it route unregistered 406 MHz alerts to a rescue authority.  GEOSAR cannot calculate the location of any alert it receives, unless the beacon has an integral GPS receiver.

The COSPAS-SARSAT System
COSPAS-SARSAT is an international satellite-based search and rescue system established by the U.S., Russia, Canada and France to locate emergency radio beacons transmitting on the frequencies 121.5, 243 and 406 MHZ.

COSPAS
Space System for Search of Distress Vessels (a Russian acronym)
SARSAT
Search and Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking

Go2marine is pleased to announce the addition of the Sevylor line of towables to their site. Plus, for a limited time, some of the most popular inflatable items are now on sale.

See Sevylor at Go2marine.

Known worldwide as a leading manufacturer of high quality, innovative designs for fun on the water and snow. Sevylor has been manufacturing inflatable boats & kayaks, towables and other fun inflatables from pool lounges to snow sleds for over 60 years.

In 1948 in a city suburb of Vitry, France, an electronics engineer established a company called “Societe Electronique de Vitry, “Sevy” for short. While their main product was electrical accessories, Sevylor set up a unit to use their “high-frequency” welding machines to manufacture PVC consumer goods.

Creation of a small inflatable bathtub named the “Dou Dou” in post-war France brought rave reviews. It was portable, convenient, practical, easy to clean, durable and more affordable than wood and metal.

Sevylor Boats

Quickly outgrowing their facilities, they moved to Buhl, located in the Alsace region of Eastern France near the German border. Once these headquarters were established, the letters “l’or” (French for gold) were added to the name and they began expanding into boats, inflatable pools, pumps, valves and other water toys.

U.S. distribution began in 1959 when Kayak Corporation of America signed an exclusive agreement to sell directly to the public at sport shows and other events. Sevylor developed the first camping mattress, which was sold exclusively through Neiman Marcus.

Sevylor makes history in 1962 with the creation of the inflatable pool mattress with a headrest and circular pockets.

In 1972 Sevylor bought Kayak Corp. and created Sevylor U.S.A. Inc., and development exclusively for the US market began. The Zodiac Group took over Sevylor and all its subsidiaries in 1981.

Ski Bob

The creation of the “Ski Bob” in 1986 marked the beginning of the entire towables business.

Now a part of the Stearns Inc. family, all of Sevylor’s products are high quality and feature construction and materials engineered for safety and long life.

 

 

Gill Sailing GearStarted in 1975 Gill Sailing Gear was created with the idea that you could make sailing wear that would keep you warm and dry at a reasonable cost. Since then Gill has become one of the most respected and desired names in the sailing world.With their layering guide and dot system, it’s easy to find exactly what you need to keep you warm and protected no matter what the weather.

Gill’s Layering Guide:

Base Layer: This layer worn next to the skin is designed to move moisture out, away from your skin. Keeps you warm by moving the moisture created from bursts of energy away from the body. Also insulates you during especially cold days.

Gill’s Base Layer at Go2marine.com

Mid Layer: This layer is the primary insulating layer, to be worn over the base layer but below the protective outer layer. Made of synthetic fibers that do not absorb water it will keep you warm. Gill has different fabric weights to choose from depending on personal preference and weather conditions.

Gill’s Mid Layer at Go2marine.com 

Gill Coast Sport JacketOuter or Protective Layer: Created purely to keep the elements out. This layer does not have any insulating properties, however it will prevent the wind and water from entering those important mid and base layers. In order to work most efficiently, the fabric is breathable to allow moist air that builds up inside escape. 

Gill’s Outer Layer at Go2marine.com 

To further ensure you stay warm, dry and comfortable, Gill has built a selection of footwear, hats and accessories. Footwear styles include breathable, waterproof leather boots, neoprene shoes and rubber gripper boots.

Gill’s Footwear at Go2marine.com