Thursday, August 11, 2011

U.S. Coast Guard Recreational Boating Safety Specialists—Part 1

Excerpt from U.S. Coast Guard Proceedings of the Marine Safety & Security Council magazine by Mr. Frank Jennings, Jr., Recreational Boating Safety Specialist, Ninth Coast Guard District and Mr. Bruce R. Wright, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist, Seventh Coast Guard District

While the Coast Guard headquarters’ Boating Safety Division functions at a strategic level, recreational boating safety (RBS) specialists are assigned primarily to district prevention division staffs.

Myriad Duties
Recreational boating safety specialists each serve as the principal Coast Guard liaison to individual state boating law administrators and their staffs. This regular contact may involve discussions of unclassified Coast Guard operations within the state; emerging recreational boating issues, boating casualty investigations, or joint operations planning; or local boaters’ complaints.

Recreational boating safety specialists also coordinate and host workshops and professional training programs, serve as the Coast Guard’s “ambassadors” to RBS partners, such as municipal water safety agencies, local safe boating coalitions, the Red Cross, and the U.S. Power Squadrons, and hold active memberships in organizations including the National Safe Boating Council, National Water Safety Congress, and International Association of Marine Investigators.

In addition to liaison duties, these specialists are responsible for the district recreational boating safety cooperative agreements the Coast Guard maintains with each state and territory, which delineate the responsibilities shared by the state and Coast Guard on waters of concurrent jurisdiction.

Special Efforts
One overarching safety message continues to be the importance of wearing a life jacket when boating. However, because boating constituencies and activities vary from district to district, the message may require slight modification to reach localized user groups.

Stay tuned for U.S. Coast Guard Recreational Boating Safety Specialists—Part 2.

Full article is available at

Subscribe online at