Byline: Catherine French
CHANNEL ISLANDS HARBOR — Take a free ride on a Coast Guard vessel, watch spine-tingling rescue demonstrations and learn about boating safety at the eighth annual Safe Boating Expo, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the U.S. Coast Guard Station, 4201 S. Victoria Ave. Last year, more than 1,000 visitors attended this free family-friendly event.
Daring offshore rescue demonstrations — including a helicopter rescue — are scheduled at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Free flare inspection and disposal will be available, and a variety of commercial and agency booths will feature hands-on exhibits and free VHF radio digital selective calling (DSC) registration.
Free tours and rides on Coast Guard vessels are planned — including the 87-foot cutter Blacktip and a 45-foot response boat-medium (RB-M).
In addition, boaters can receive a free vessel safety examination for trailerable boats at the Channel Islands Harbor public boat launch.
“Local vendors will demonstrate the latest in safety products — including hands-on training for the proper use of a fire extinguisher and shooting a flare, along with the latest types and styles of life jackets,” said Henry Goldman of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, who is chairman of this event.
Food and beverages will be available, sponsored by the Pacific Corinthian Youth Foundation, with proceeds going to support the youth sailing program in Channel Islands Harbor.
Local agencies attending the expo will include the Red Cross, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, Channel Islands Harbor Patrol, the Oxnard Police/Fire Dive Team, Navy Sea Cadets, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, and Ventura Sail and Power Squadron. In addition, from Channel Islands National Park, law enforcement ranger Mike Morales will speak about boating safety at the Channel Islands.
“Every year, we get larger crowds that attend this free fun and educational event for the entire family,” Goldman said.
For more information, call (800) 704-5620 or (805) 382-3007, or visit safeboatingexpo.com.