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Boating education and safety aim of upcoming course

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

Education is the best way to fend off boating mishaps, says a spokesman for the Shallotte River Sail and Power Squadron.

With several recent boating incidents that have occurred in the area and required the assistance of the U.S. Coast Guard, an upcoming course may be coming in the nick of time.

The Shallotte River Sail and Power Squadron has scheduled a boating course for four consecutive Monday nights, starting Sept. 8 at Brunswick Electric Membership Corp.

“The best thing is education,” said Ed Wojton, newly appointed spokesman for the squadron. “That’s what this course is.”

“You have to know what’s going on when you’re on the water,” Wojton said. “Education is important to help you and your friends and whoever you are with, as well as other boaters.”

The squadron, a local service organization that’s part of the nonprofit, non-governmental U.S. Power Squadron, plans to promote safe boating through the course.

The sessions, to be conducted 7-9 p.m., are described as a practical, basic course for both beginners and experienced boaters. The course is open to “anybody over 12 years old,” Wojton said.

Too often, he said, people buy new boats then have no clue about using them.

The biggest infractions are no understanding of navigation aids, not paying attention to the weather and not having life preservers onboard, Wojton said.

Subjects to be covered in the course include boat terms and types, marine radiotelephone, government regulations, boat handling and adverse conditions. There also will be review and exam preparation.

The course is offered twice a year as a civic service to the community. The cost is $30, which includes a 270-page manual and materials including a plotter, set of dividers and map-tech CD-ROM. Family members can share materials at no additional charge.

For more information, contact Dan Bartell at (910) 842-1865 or www.dtb@sups.org or Don Edwards at (910) 846-3081 or www.rdedwards@atmc.net.