The USCG Station Destin in conjunction with the USCG Auxiliary-Flotilla 14 will be kicking off the 2011 National Safe Boating Week (NSBW) on Saturday, May 21, 2011 with an open house from 1 – 4 p.m. at the Destin Coast Guard Station located at the NW side of the Destin bridge. A schedule of events (attached) for the week along with a map highlight the activities to promote safe boating and water recreation.
The public is invited to meet the local active duty USCG (Guardians), see where they live and work, view and board some of their local vessels. Active duty Guardians and local USCG Auxiliary members will be available to answer your boating questions. The main attractions are the 25’ response boats and a 41’ patrol boat. Flotilla members from Flotilla 14 will be on hand with displays of life jackets and many forms of education and information material to pass out to visitors. Children and adults can take advantage practicing the tossing of the heaving lines on the pier.
Free vessel safety inspections will be offered by members of the USCG Auxiliary Flotilla14 at the Open House and throughout the week at seven locations. Click for map link. Vessels will be able to be trailed to the station or driven up to it’s auxiliary dock for inspection. Vessels must be properly registered and have on board the required safety equipment for the vessel type and size. Decal and certificate will be issued to those vessels that pass the inspection, and often qualifies the owner for a boat insurance discount.
Coast Guard Station Destin, commissioned in November 1977, is located on Choctawhatchee Bay at the east end of Okaloosa Island, just across Destin East Pass from the resort community of Destin. Their missions include Search and Rescue and a wide range of law enforcement activities including Recreational and Commercial Boating Safety, Fisheries, Marine Environmental Protection, Ports/Waterways/Coastal Security and Drug Interdiction. The units area of responsibility extends 30 miles off-shore into the Gulf of Mexico bordered by Inlet Beach to the east and Navarre Bridge to the west. Inland the unit covers the Choctawhatchee Bay, all bayous, and the Intracoastal Waterway. The unit is equipped with two 41-foot UTBs and two 25-foot Defender Class small response boats (RBSs). The station is home to 36 Active Duty, 12 Reserves, and USCG Auxiliary Flotilla 14 with over 50 members.