MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — -- The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla # 20-01 visited Johnson Primary School here, April 28, to teach boating safety to children.
Boating and water safety are very important in the Camp Lejeune area, because it’s surrounded by water and there’s a lot of water recreation. The children also took what they learned from the class, back to their parents, according to Ray Moulton, the Flotilla commander.
The Flotilla uses a very interesting tool to help teach the class, according to Vernon Murphy, the Flotilla public affairs officer. They use a remote controlled Coast Guard boat named Coastie, the safety boat. The boat’s mission is to save lives through education. It talks, blinks and squirts water and is operated and voiced using a control pad and headset by one of the Flotilla members.
The Flotilla used this tool along with other props such as life jackets, life rings, whistles and tool sets to teach the children about safety on the water.
One of the key parts to the class was the use of life jackets. The life jacket must fit properly so that a child doesn’t slip out of it in the water. The children were also taught when to wear the life jacket.
“Before you get to the dock, before you even see the water, you should have that life jacket on,” said Murphy. “It should be on you from the time you leave that vehicle to the time you get on the boat.”
The students also learned what items should be on a boat and how to use them. The Flotilla members explained how to call for help from a radio and that the Coast Guard monitors all channels for distress. They also demonstrated for the children the proper way to use a fire extinguisher, emergency whistle and signal mirror.
The class also taught children to always have a person with them when they’re around water. Someone should always be there to help them incase something were to happen.
The Flotilla is available to give classes to anyone on or off base. The Flotilla also offers free boat inspections. Members of the Coast Guard can personally visit a boat to have it inspected whether it is in the water or on dry land, according to Murphy.
For more information email the Flotilla at acr48@.rr.com.