Thursday, June 28, 2012

USPS centennial celebration gets under way

Created on 2 Feb. 1914, USPS will mark 100 years of education, fellowship and community service in 2014. Based on the powerboat handling skills programs of businessman Roger Upton at the Boston Yacht Club in Marblehead, Mass., USPS offers boating education programs in cities and towns across the U.S., its territories and Japan. The organization has also become an important ally of the U.S. Coast Guard, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Commerce and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Today, nearly 40,000 members in more than 400 squadrons provide boating education in everything from seamanship and celestial navigation to marine electronics and engine maintenance.

Several projects are under way to celebrate USPS’ centennial. For more information and activity updates, visit usps.org/100. The Ship’s Store is adding 100th anniversary logo items, an anniversary commemorative stamp is under discussion, and community activities are being planned at all levels.

During the 2014 Annual Meeting in Jacksonville, Fla., the Governing Board will hold a celebration on Saturday, 1 Feb. Our meeting hotel, the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront is planning a party for all members. The city plans to post signs throughout the town and is working with the Jacksonville Sail & Power Squadron to conduct a boat parade on the St. John’s River.

The USPS Flag and Etiquette Committee has designed an anniversary ensign to be flown on members’ vessels in 2013 and 2014, and a new logo is available online at theensign.org/foreditors.htm.

To kickoff the yearlong ceremony, anniversary ensigns will be presented to all 32 districts at the 2013 Annual Meeting. Each squadron will create unique ribbon streamers of specified dimensions to affix to their district’s ensign. During the 2014 Annual Meeting, districts will parade their ensigns and streamers in an anniversary flag presentation.

All members are encouraged to help plan yearlong celebrations in their communities, including municipal proclamations, appearances at civic and marine organization meetings, and presentations during boating safety equipment demonstration days. – Greg Scotten

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Raleigh squadron receives NSBC Youth Program Award

The National Safe Boating Council awards committee announced the winners for the BoatU.S. Foundation Boating Safety Youth Program Award and the OMC "Take 'Em Boating" Grant at the 16th International Boating and Water Summit held in San Diego, Calif.

George Malindzak accepted the Boating Safety Youth Program Award on behalf of Raleigh Power & Sail Squadron. The BSYP Award, sponsored by BoatU.S., provides a vehicle to recognize individuals and organizations that have developed and successfully implemented innovative boating education programs directed at youth. The Raleigh Sail & Power Squadron developed a sailing program for kids; the kids get to build their own Optimist prams and keep them. This unique experience takes a child through the construction phase of boating all the way through racing. Kids accepted into the program must be accompanied by an adult during the construction, training and evaluation periods.

Malindzak leads the program, and he hopes it will serve as a pilot for a national program within USPS.

Jon Summers accepted the "Take 'Em Boating" Grant on behalf of the Mississippi River Water Trail Association. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and partnering organizations are developing the Mississippi River Water Trail on the Mississippi River within the St. Louis District boundary. The Corps has developed day-use rest areas, primitive camping areas, and watchable wildlife and interpretive opportunities on the Mississippi River. Ultimately, the Corps hopes to have a water trail that goes up and down the Mississippi and can be used as a platform to train boaters in a safe and environmentally friendly way.

Funded by the Outboard Marine Corporation Foundation, the OMC Foundation grant program seeks to promote interest in boating safety, environmental awareness and the marine industry. The overarching purpose of the grant is to develop and encourage interest in boating for future generations. The program encourages organizations to develop creative and innovative programs to get kids into boats and to demonstrate the benefits of water-related activities.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Ready, Set, Wear It! Life Jacket World Record Day to Kick Off National Safe Boating Week

Life jacket wear is one of the most effective and simple life-saving strategies for safe recreational boating.

With summer almost here, families and friends are eager to get outdoors and spend time on the water—boating, fishing, sailing and more. But, with approximately 500 people drowning each year from recreational boating accidents, it is imperative to push Wear It! message: Wear your life jacket at all times while you are on the water.

The National Safe Boating Council, in partnership with the Canadian Safe Boating Council, invite boating safety professionals, the boating community and the media to participate in Ready, Set, Wear It! on Saturday, May 19. Participants in cities around the globe will gather to set a world record for the most life jackets worn and inflatable life jackets inflated. The goal is not only to promote the comfortable and versatile options when it comes to life jackets, but also to educate the public about life jackets and safe boating in general.

Ready, Set, Wear It!, previously named Ready, Set, Inflate!, will usher in National Safe Boating Week, this year May 19-25, 2012. Boating safety partners across the U.S. and Canada are teaming up to promote safe and responsible boating, including voluntary wear of life jackets, for National Safe Boating Week and throughout the boating season.

“What better way to share the life-saving importance of life jacket wear, while having some fun and helping set a world record,” said Virgil Chambers, executive director of the National Safe Boating Council. “We are proud to once again partner with the Canadian Safe Boating Council to share about boating safety.”

Last year, 1,685 people gathered at more than 99 events held around the world to set a new record for the number of participants who inflated their inflatable life jacket or wore an inherently buoyant life jacket.

People interested in organizing an event worldwide can visit www.ReadySetWearIt.com. The website has answers to frequently asked questions, event day checklists, locating an event, general information about life jacket wear, and a special section for the media to use footage and materials from past events.

The success of Ready, Set, Wear It! depends on local sponsors and partners. Leland, Ltd. and iSi Components have worked with the NSBC to offer over 1,000 CO2 cartridges to allow participants the opportunity to inflate their life jacket, but also practice re-arming techniques of inflatable life jackets. Marine retail sponsors Cabela’s and West Marine offered their locations for event organizers throughout the country. For a list of all the 2012 sponsors, please visit the website.

“There’s no reason why you, your family and friends, can’t have fun on the water while also choosing to always wear a life jacket,” said Jean Murray, chair of the Canadian Safe Boating Council. “This event is educational and fun for boating enthusiasts, families, and the general public to enjoy!”

To ensure an accurate count from each location, all organizers are asked to record their event through photographs or video as well as a sign-up sheet. After the event numbers are tallied, the total number of participants is posted to the website.

The National Safe Boating Council and the Canadian Safe Boating Council hope to not only set another world record and surpass 2011’s participants, but, most importantly, educate the boating public about the comfort and accessibility of inflatable life jackets. Throughout the year, the North American Safe Boating Campaign focuses on the goal of educating the public about safe boating and life jacket wear, and relies on events like Ready, Set, Wear It! and National Safe Boating Week to bring more awareness to this life-saving cause. The campaign is produced under a grant from the Sports Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard. For more information, please visit www.ReadySetWearIt.com or www.SafeBoatingCampaign.com.