Inspection is a Key at the Start of the Boating Season

Monday, June 4, 2012

Members of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary's Cheboygan Flotilla boarded the Robin Too for a courtesy inspection at the Cheboygan County Marina. Boat owner Bob Robbins welcomed the chance to ensure a safe summer on the water by checking his vessel's safety equipment.

The simplest action upon boarding a boat could save a life, say members of the U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary in Cheboygan, MI.

Article by Mike Fornes. Reprinted with permission from the Cheboygan Daily Tribune.

“It is human nature to think, ‘it can’t happen to me’ but it can,” said Jim Ketchum, former Cheboygan Flotilla commander, while inspecting a boat at the Cheboygan County Marina. “The majority of people who drown in boating accidents know how to swim, but become incapacitated in the water. Sometimes they are injured or unconscious; others develop hypothermia or become exhausted. Some are weighed down by clothing. Accidents happen so fast and the life jackets are often not within reach. They are in storage areas, trapped under the vessel, or floating away in the water.”

Ketchum was accompanied by several volunteers who performed a courtesy inspection on the Robin Too, a 29-foot Sea Ray cabin cruiser owned by Bob Robbins. The group was on hand to ensure that the vessel has all necessary safety equipment to enjoy another summer of boating.

Ketchum said the facts tell a story that needn’t be told if boaters of all ages wore life jackets. He pointed out that among 2010 boating accidents recorded nationwide, 88 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets.

“Some people think that life jackets make them feel too hot or are uncomfortable,” he added. “There are many new style life jackets on the market that are light weight, low-profile, inflatable, and very comfortable. It just makes sense.”

“A U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket is a boater’s most important piece of personal safety equipment,” said Frank Jennings Jr., recreational boating and water safety program manager for the 9th Coast Guard District, based in Cleveland. “Wearing a life jacket can mean the difference between life and death when boating. A lot of boaters are alive today because they chose to wear their life jacket whenever they got underway.”

 “Convincing boaters to voluntarily wear life jackets and adopt safe boating practices is an ongoing challenge,” said Rear Adm. Mike Parks, commander of the 9th Coast Guard District. “I’m a life-long boater and understand the risks one faces on the water because I’ve spent much of my career at sea. The Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary are committed to educating boaters on ways they can increase their margin of safety when on the water with family and friends.”

Members of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary’s Cheboygan Flotilla boarded the Robin Too for a courtesy inspection Monday at the Cheboygan County Marina. Boat owner Bob Robbins welcomed the chance to ensure a safe summer on the water by checking his vessel’s safety equipment.

Tags: , , ,


Leave a Comment

We welcome your comments on postings at all Coast Guard sites/journals. These are sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard to provide a forum to talk about our work providing maritime safety, security and stewardship for the American people to secure the homeland, save lives and property, protect the environment, and promote economic prosperity.

The information provided is for public information only and is not a distress communication channel. People in an emergency and in need of Coast Guard assistance should use VHF-FM Channel 16 (156.8 MHz), dial 911, or call their nearest Coast Guard unit.

All comments submitted are moderated. The Coast Guard retains the discretion to determine which comments it will post and which it will not. We expect all contributors to be respectful. We will not post comments that contain personal attacks of any kind; refer to Coast Guard or other employees by name; contain offensive terms that target specific ethnic or racial groups, or contain vulgar language. We will also not post comments that are spam, are clearly off topic, or that promote services or products.

The U.S. Coast Guard disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from any comments posted on this page. This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

If you have specific questions regarding a U.S. Coast Guard program that involves details you do not wish to share publicly please contact the program point of contact listed at

The U.S. Coast Guard will not collect or retain Personally Identifiable Information unless you voluntarily provide it to us. To view the U.S. Coast Guards Privacy Policy, please visit:

Please note: Anonymous comments have been disabled for this journal. It is preferred that you use your real name when posting a comment. WE WILL POST THE NAME YOU ENTER WHEN YOU SUBMIT YOUR COMMENT. Also, you are welcome to use Open ID or other user technologies that may be available.