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U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Offering Boat Safety Checks

Everything from emergency flares to bad registration stickers will be inspected at the Vessel Safety Checks event Saturday at Newport Dunes.

The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary will be conducting vessel safety checks in Newport Beach to help keep boaters safe on the water and to make sure they are compliant with state laws.

Auxiliarists will be at the Newport Dunes Launch Ramp on Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., educating boat owners and passengers about safety rules and performing free non-law enforcement safety checks on boats. Clint Wells, of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxillary, said safe boating is essential for boaters and their passengers to maintain safety on the water and to decrease the chance of accidents.

"Boaters need to be aware of what to do and what resources they should have on their vessel in case of an accident or emergency," Wells told Patch. "The more safe boating knowledge a boater has the higher chance they will save a life, even their own."

State boating laws include requiring boaters to have flares on board that have not expired and requiring boaters to have their registrations stickers at least three inches tall, in block lettering and have a letter size width to separate the numbers and letters.

"These may seem like small laws but most people don't know if their flares have expired because they have never used them in an emergency, which is a good thing," Wells explained. "A lot of people can get pulled over on the water because their registration stickers are not compliant with state law. Bad registration stickers can be targets for law enforcement to pull boats over."

Wells said there is no penalty for not passing a VSC, and whether you pass or not you will receive a list of what is required by law to have on your boat.

At the event literature on boating safety, state and local requirements, information on lifejackets and even coloring books for the kids will be available.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed volunteer force that supports the Active Duty in everything except military and law enforcement missions. On an average day Auxiliarists save over $340,000 in property damage, do more than 290 Vessel Safety Checks and much more.

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Offering Boat Safety Checks