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The recent, tragic boating accident in the Gulf of Mexico which took the lives of two NFL players and one other young man illustrated the old Coast Guard saying that "your boat is your best life jacket". The only survivor was found clinging to the motor of the overturned boat . Many years ago I commanded a 95 foot Coast Guard cutter doing search and rescue work in the Atlantic off the east coast of Florida. I can tell you from experience that it is much easier to locate a boat from the air or by radar than it is to locate a person floating in the water. So if you are ever in a position where your boat overturns, and you can’t wade to shore, stick with your boat. With the start of the Gulf boating season I plan to do more postings on boating safety, but for now, before another season starts, call your local Coast Guard Auxillary for a courtesy safety inspection. It’s free and if you are lacking something they will tell you and you can get it. They will NOT issue a citation or report you to the Coast Guard or other law enforcement agencies.

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