Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Montana may be a land-locked state, but the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is present here, patrolling the state's largest bodies of water, rescuing disabled boats and saving lives. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary work together to promote safe boating in the state.
"Montana's auxiliary Coast Guard members are part of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary District 13 serving Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana," said Dave Hansen, Commander of Division 10 in Montana.
The Coast Guard Auxiliary was set up in 1939 as a group of volunteer lifesavers to support the active duty Coast Guard.
"We patrol in boats on inland reservoirs and lakes, provide vessel examinations to private vessel owners and carry out public education activities," Hansen said.
"A vessel exam is free for the asking," Hansen said. "We especially encourage boaters to have an inspection this time of year to prepare for a safe boating season. We systematically go over the boat and all necessary equipment to correct potential problems before they become a safety issue on the water."
To prepare for a boat inspection and ensure you pass and receive a U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary decal, go to the FWP website at fwp.mt.gov, click Recreation, Stay Safe Outdoors then Boating Safety for the U.S. Coast Guard Vessel Safety Checklist.
To schedule a boat inspection by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, contact Dave Hansen at 406-459-2957, or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or Gary Herseim, Staff Officer for Vessel Exams in Montana, at: 406-437-1566.