FOX LAKE – For the 2019 recreational boating season, flotilla 41-04 will be patrolling the Fox Waterway to assist any boater needing help.
The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will alert boaters operating unsafely, look out for and report hazardous conditions, such as floating debris, to the waterway or other agency, and generally do whatever it can to ensure a safer season for all boaters.
One of the group’s basic functions is to ensure boaters have the necessary items on board their vessel required by law. A free safety exam takes only a few minutes to go over a checklist. Each item is discussed and questions can be answered. Upon passing the vessel exam, the boater receives a decal to affix on board that indicates they are in compliance with federal and state laws. Any item not in compliance will be noted. The auxiliary does not issue citations for any discrepancies. A safety decal cannot be issued at that time. As soon as the deficiency is made good, the boater can be rechecked, and upon passing, the safety decal will be issued.
Another of the flotilla’s important roles is public education. This year it will be teaching “About Boating Safety Courses” in the Fox Lake area. The course is one all-day session on May 18 and June 15 in Fox Lake. This class is for everyone, but be aware that Illinois requires anyone born after Jan. 1, 1998, to take the class if they care to operate a motorized vessel.
These classes cover chapters on introduction to boating, safe boating, boating laws, navigation, boating problems, trailering, skiing and many other areas.
For information on times, location and to register for a class, visit http://uscgafoxlake.com.