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Guest column | Joanne Fessel

Consider gift of boating safety aids

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 15-8, Hernando Beach, loves the holiday season because we volunteer our time all year to help keep you and your loved ones safe on the water, and giving is what we enjoy doing.

Every year more people take safe boating courses, and in return they are giving back to the community by using their knowledge to keep our waterways safe. That in itself is a gift right back to us.

Times are hard, the economy just plain stinks and although Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year spiritually, most of us are feeling a financial burden. Sometimes the best gifts really are free. Our free vessel safety checks are a great gift idea. Give loved ones the gift of knowing their boat is equipped with all the safety equipment it should have. We come to your boat, wherever you keep it, and upon successful completion place a decorative decal on your boat. Call Jackie at (352) 666-7239 to make an appointment.

And if it is lacking something, it's most likely some inexpensive item that is an important item and solves your gift problem for them. For example, Coast Guard-approved life jackets are a must and are a great gift idea for the loved ones on your list.

Most fatalities on the water occur from not wearing a life jacket. To put one on once you are in the water is almost impossible.

You can also give someone a gift certificate for a safe boating course that the U.S. Coast Guard teaches right in Hernando Beach. They are inexpensive (just enough to cover our costs) and could very well save a life in an emergency.

We have many courses throughout the year, and each is taught by a qualified instructor. These courses are a must for anyone either buying a first boat or even for those of you who have been boaters for years.

For more information on the courses we teach, visit our Web site:

Joanne Fessel is a member of the Hernando Beach U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Consider gift of boating safety aids 11/19/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 20, 2008 1:48pm]
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