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Copyright vEsti24
Dec 23 2009
Coast Guard Gift List for Mariner Safety PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 23 December 2009



US Coast Guard gift ideas for mariner safety. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Walter Shinn

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            Alaska's waters are unforgiving, and it's the Coast Guard's job to keep mariners safe any time of year. In this season of giving, as Captain Jack Kenyon says, what better gift for your seafaring loved one than something from the Coast Guard's nautical gift ideas list? Kenyon is the chief of prevention for the 17th Coast Guard District.

            At the top of Kenyon's list is a marine GPS unit. If you don't know where you are, it's easier to get lost and nearly impossible to help rescuers find you, even if you have a handheld marine VHF radio, also on the list. A global positioning system can pinpoint your location to within a few yards, helping you avoid hazards to navigation.

            A 406-megahertz EPIRB, or Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon, is also high on the list, but remember to register it right away to help searchers find you faster. Some of the new 406-megahertz models can also send GPS information with its signal, allowing rescuers to home right in on your location. In some remote locations, like miles out at sea or on some distant and uninhabited shore, an EPIRB could be your only way to signal for help, especially if you aren't carrying a satellite phone. While airliners still monitor the old 121.5 megahertz EPRIB frequency, satellites stopped picking up the signal on February 1st this year, so a new 406 model may just be the perfect gift this Christmas.

            The rest of the items on the Coast Guard's gift list are not quite as high-tech. A floatation device, like a life jacket, float coat or survival suit, is vital if worst comes to worst, as are a fire extinguisher, first aid kit and signal flares.

            The Coast Guard also recommends a boating safety course and a vessel safety check as ways to avoid potential emergencies and the need to break out the new EPIRB.

            Find the whole list by clicking "Read more" below this story.


Coast Guard's top nautical gifts ideas are:

  • A Marine GPS navigation system
  • A 406 Mhz EPIRB (make sure you register it after purchase, or rescuers may be delayed in reaching you!  In remote Alaska areas, this may become your ONLY way to call for help.)
  • A Coast Guard-approved life jacket (because they float, you don't...)
  • A handheld VHF marine radio
  • A Boating Safety Course (boater education saves lives - it's a fact)
  • Vessel Safety Check (VSC) from the Coast Guard Auxiliary (it's free!)
  • A Coast Guard approved fire extinguisher
  • A first aid kit in a watertight container
  • A seamanship book
  • Nautical charts for the areas your favorite mariner frequents
  • A signaling kit (mirror, whistle and day/ night flares)
  • Clothing that is warm and water resistant and appropriate for Alaska and its extreme environments
  • Life raft with a survival kit
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