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Safety's First--and Free--at Weeklong Event


NEWPORT BEACH — Everyone from yachtsmen to sailboaters who want to get their vessels safety-inspected and pick up some navigational pointers can take advantage of National Boating Safety Week festivities scheduled for June.

From June 5 to June 13, the local U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will conduct the free inspections and water safety classes for adults and children, event organizers said.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary based in Newport Beach will kick off the weeklong celebration with free vessel examinations June 5 and June 6 from 9 a.m. to about 2 p.m. at the Newport Dunes Ramp, near the intersection of Coast Highway and Jamboree Road. A second session of inspections are scheduled for the following weekend, June 12 and June 13, said Gloria Wurthman, spokeswoman for the auxiliary.

These inspections are the same as the those already provided by the Coast Guard nearly every weekend at the Newport Dunes Ramp.

"The vessel examiners will go over the entire boat to make sure that flotation devices are in place, there are working flares, fire extinguishers and radios," Wurthman said. Inspectors will also check the engine for problems.

Each year, members of the auxiliary, which is the civilian component of the Coast Guard, participate in the event to ensure that local boaters are using safe equipment. "Hopefully this will catch the eye of boaters," she said. "The theme this year is 'Boat Safe' because there are too many people out there getting hurt."

In addition, auxiliary member Richard Kinney will be teaching navigational skills for both sailing and powerboating at free Boating Skills and Seamanship classes on June 12 and June 13 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information, call (714) 832-3451.

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