Tuesday, October 27, 2020

USCGAux Flotilla 95 Milestone:

1,000th Attendee For Boaters’ Local Knowledge

Aerial photo of ever-changing Caxambas Pass. Submitted Photo

Aerial photo of ever-changing Caxambas Pass. Submitted Photo

The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary (USCGAux), Flotilla 95, Marco Island announces that recently the 1,000th person attended the “Boaters’ Local Knowledge (BLK)” and its “sister” course, BLK Backwater Edition.

BLK was first offered by Flotilla 95 in early 2006, after a determination was made that the boating community needed instruction and guidance on how to successfully navigate the complex waterways surrounding Marco Island and the 10,000 Islands.

The courses are presented three to five times each year. In addition to recreational boaters, a number of professional enforcement groups have also attended, including Marco Island Police; Marco Island Fire Rescue Department; Isles of Capri Police; Isles of Capri Fire Department and Florida Fish and Wildlife officers. The presentation consists of upwards of 180 images collected over the years, detailing changes, hazards, and safe routes around Marco Island and the 10,000 Islands. The course is constantly being revised and updated, and it uses the latest in instructional techniques including PowerPoint, aerial photography, videos, internet links, and Google Earth. The current sessions include information and changes in the waterways collected after Hurricane Irma.

These one-day classes are a must for those boaters interested in learning about and exploring the 220 square miles of navigable waters surrounding Marco Island and the 10,000 Islands.

Boaters’ Local Knowledge-Marco Island: This course provides practical information on how to navigate various waterways in and around Marco Island. Aerial and on water photos are used throughout the course and allow attendees to actually see the areas they will be taking their boats through. This course is recommended for new, novice, and intermediate boaters, or boaters who are new to this area. Upcoming Classes: 3/12/18 and 4/2/18.

Boater’s Local Knowledge Backwater Edition: This course begins where Boater’s Local Knowledge ends, and provides those who want to explore the backwaters of the 10,000 Islands with the information they will need to safely navigate this unique area. Geography, tides and other navigating factors are thoroughly discussed. Aerial photos are used extensively in this course to aid boaters in knowing where to go…and where not to go. Six routes into the 10,000 Islands are reviewed in the class. This course is recommended for intermediate boaters and above. Upcoming Classes: 3/13/18 and 4/3/18.

For more information about these and other boating courses offered by the USCGAux, contact Public Education Officer Joe Riccio at 239-384-7416 or cgauxcourses@gmail.com.

For further information about other USCGAux programs, including complimentary Vessel Safety Examinations or how to join the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, call 239-394-5911 or visit www.USCGAuxMarco.org.

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