Oceanside Harbor staff prepares to launch Harbor Ambassador Volunteer Program

The volunteer position, which will begin in August, will act as “the eyes and ears for Harbor Administration,” share information about boating safety for new users and communicate other harbor-related information.

OCEANSIDE—Staff at Oceanside Harbor is on the verge of launching a new program, which will benefit many who enjoy the waterside: the Harbor Ambassador Volunteer Program. Harbor Division Manager Ted Schiafone sent an email to The Log on July 3 stating he had updated the City Council on the program’s progress.

“Staff is moving forward with new volunteer program designed to provide information to slip renters, boaters, paddle boarders, kayakers, beach visitors and the general public that comes to enjoy Oceanside Harbor,” Schiafone said.

“This program will consist of volunteers on kayaks inside of the Harbor who will visit the transient docks, kayak launch areas and boat ramp while paddling a kayak.  Their purpose will be to inform users of the general boating and safety rules. Many new users of the Harbor have taken up kayaking and paddle boarding without any previous boating experience,” Schiafone continued.

An emphasis on boating safety is at the center of the new program, which will require new volunteers have at least five years of boating experience. In addition to being an active boater, volunteers will be required to wear an approved flotation device, take a swim competency test and hold a valid California Boaters Card.

“Staff believes this will provide increased safety inside the Harbor and improve customer service. These volunteers will also act as the eyes and ears for Harbor Administration and will communicate via VHF (waterproof) radios regarding any important issues,” Schiafone said.

Oceanside already has a Downtown Ambassador Program, which has been operating this year from May 28 to August 30. These programs offer community members to give back, while also welcoming visitors to make their stays as fun as possible.

Schiafone anticipates the program would begin in August. A presentation about the new program will also be given at the next Harbor and Beaches Advisory Committee meeting, which are held Mondays, six times a year; the next meeting will likely take place in August as well.

For more information about attending HBAC meeting, visit the website at ci.oceanside.ca.us/services/comms/hbac.asp.

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