Wednesday, July 6, 2011

United States Power Squadrons

Excerpt from U.S. Coast Guard Proceedings of the Marine Safety & Security Council magazine by Vice Commander Robert Sweet, Senior Navigator, National Educational Officer, United States Power Squadrons

With grant funding provided by the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Safety Trust Fund, and administered by the U.S. Coast Guard, United States Power Squadrons (USPS) is refining a program that can be delivered across the country to a large number of boaters.

Training the Trainers
The principal challenge is training enough boaters to make a difference. USPS has established a system for training advanced certifiers who can instruct the program. More than 400 individuals have been certified by USPS trainers to administer this program in the past year, and this training continues. The initial program is being tailored to address key risk factors and areas of concern expressed by boaters.

Audience ParticipationThe program includes extensive classroom training to help boaters understand how boats behave in the water and why and how they respond to controls. Animations, videos, and graphics-based text help to explain boat actions and maneuvers.

By the time participants getto the helm on the water, they know what to expect, so their helm time is much more efficient and helps them to quickly ingrain proper techniques.

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