Frequently Asked Question Friday: Boating Safety Courses in Other Languages?

Friday, March 27, 2015

I Wear Mine
For this week’s frequently asked question, we are combing a submitted article with a FAQ. The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary has a major goal of expanding boating safety to everyone.

The question of the week: Does the Auxiliary offers boating safety courses in languages other than English?

The answer is “Maybe.” Local Auxiliary units may have translators available to help teach boating safety classes. Please contact your local unit in advance to find out. If you can translate, and want to help out, consider joining the Auxiliary to help out your local community.

The following story is one great example of Auxiliarists working toward boating safety diversity:

Norwalk CT – [left to right] Daniel Vazquez (Norwalk PD), Wally Martinez (Flotilla 72), and Richard Delallo (Norwalk PD) launch Flotilla 72’s first Navegando America class in Norwalk. USCG Auxiliary Photo.

Norwalk CT – [left to right] Daniel Vazquez (Norwalk PD), Wally Martinez (Flotilla 72), and Richard Delallo (Norwalk PD) launch Flotilla 72’s first Navegando America class in Norwalk. USCG Auxiliary Photo.

Norwalk, CT – More interaction with the local community along with helping mariners stay safe on our waterways are goals of the Commander of Norwalk Flotilla 72 of the First Coast Guard District (SR), Sherrye Dobrin. Exemplifying this spirit, the flotilla’s Public Education Officer, Joe DeFranco suggested the Auxiliary’s Spanish-language boating safety class, Navegando America, to the Norwalk Police Department as one of their community services.

Navegando America is an established eight-hour USCG Auxiliary boating safety course completely taught in Spanish. Textbooks can be ordered through the Auxiliary’s Materials office. The Powerpoint lesson slides are available on the Auxiliary’s Public Education website. Working with the Public Education Officer of the Coral Gables flotilla in Florida, Henry Cespedes, the team acquired the Navegando America exam. Family members of Auxiliarist Martinez and Auxiliarist DeFranco volunteered to translate the Connecticut Rules & Regulations Supplement and its associated exams into Spanish. They’re certain this is the first time the course has been provided in Connecticut and believe it could be the first time in the New York and New England region.

The translated Connecticut Supplement exams and lesson slides, along with the Auxiliary exam and textbook, were provided for review to the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEEP) Boating Division via Steve Perrone, the Auxiliary’s Assistant District Public Education Officer. CT DEEP concurred that mariners who completed the course would meet the state’s education requirements for the combined Safe Boating Certificate and Certificate of PWC Operation (SBC/CPWO).

The Norwalk Police Department offered the class to the public and handled all publicity. Instructor Wally Martinez of Flotilla 72 presented all seven Navegando America lessons while flotilla member (and Norwalk Police Officer) Dan Vazquez taught the Connecticut Rules & Regulations Supplement. PO Richard Delallo of the Marine Unit served as liaison for the Norwalk Police Department. The class was conducted at Flotilla 72’s Training Center on Calf Pasture Beach in East Norwalk on March 14.

An excellent example of local USCG Auxiliary and the community working together to achieve success, another class is being considered for May of this year reaching beyond Norwalk to surrounding towns.

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