Safety at Sea Weekend
Safety at Sea training events have been held jointly by the Sea Scouts, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary for over a decade in California, Texas, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and other locations.
The purpose of these events is to provide Sea Scouts and their leaders with an opportunity to receive instruction and hands-on experience in a variety of boating safety skills and equipment that is generally unavailable to them. Activities generally include flares, helo ops, P6 pumps, damage control, survival suits, hypothermia, fire fighting. This can be tailored to the resources locally available.
This event is most successful if jointly planned and executed by the Sea Scouts, the local Coast Guard Sector, and one or more Coast Guard Auxiliary Divisions. A lead person with the authority to make decisions and commit resources should be named by each organization.
Planning will take between 6-9 months. The date and location should be firmed up well in advance to allow all participants to plan to attend.
In addition to being a training event, this is an opportunity for the Coast Guard and Auxiliary to make a positive impression on the Sea Scouts and leaders, who are potential members of either organization. Be sure to have PA personnel actively engaged in planning and executing the event. Be sure to invite local media to attend, and submit articles to Coast Guard and Auxiliary publications.
In addition to boating safety activities, plan on including Marine Environmental Education Specialists (AUX-MEES) to discuss environmental protection issues.
The Sea Scouts should plan on being in a single, consistent uniform. Depending on local conditions, a good option is to provide a dark blue t-shirt for all youth participants. Adult leaders should plan on wearing the khaki work uniform.
Remember that the event is being held on a military installation. Behavior should be governed accordingly.
The Sea Scouts should remember to say, “thank you.” A letter to the Sector Commander commending the active duty and Auxiliarist participants helps to ensure future assistance. Be sure to include names, ranks, and service numbers.
It is best to arrange for food for all participants. Do not charge Coast Guard or Auxiliary personnel for their meals if the Sea Scouts are providing the food.
Lectures should be kept to a minimum. The Scouts want to get their hands on the equipment. Let them get wet if conditions allow. Remember that BSA Safe Scouting guidelines
must be observed.
Sea Scout Ships (units) must secure tour permits from their local Scout Councils per normal procedures.
Steve Alexander, FSO-MT - Flotilla 24-02, 5th District (Southern Region)