PA Blog

On this page you will find all the Rants and Raves with respect to the Public Affairs Department

Wear It-World Record Day

Welcome to the 2015 Wear It – World Record Day! On May 16th 2015, we would like to have everyone show up at the West Marine in Patchogue to join participants across North America and throughout the world to try to beat the 2014 world record of 6,973 life jackets worn and inflatable life jackets inflated. Ready, Set, Wear It! Life Jacket World Record Day aims to raise public awareness of the importance of life jacket wear and general boating safety practices.
We will have an informational booth set up between 11AM and 3PM and at 1PM have a photo opportunity with as many people as we can. The group photo (and also sign in sheet) verifies the "record" part of the day. What is required from the participants is to have everyone wearing a life jacket to spread awareness (including pets!).
We would also like to broadcast that we will be offering free Vessel Safety Checks to anyone who would like to trailer in their boat.
Finally, our "new" thing this year is to "challenge" everyone (much like the Ice Bucket Challenge) to take a picture of themselves wearing their life jacket in an atypical location. Then, for them to post it to our Facebook page, or just their own, and "challenge" someone else.
The event is being done to officially launch National Safe Boating Week, which runs from May 16 – 22 this year. This timing positions the campaign just before the Memorial Day weekend, the “unofficial start of summer” when in the upper states the water is dangerously cold and throughout America, historically, a large number of boating incidents occur.
The Ready, Set, Wear It! Event is just the beginning of the Wear It! message. The purpose of the event and the yearlong campaign is to raise public awareness of the importance of life jacket wear and general boating safety practices. The event is coordinated by the National Safe Boating Council (NSBC) in partnership with the Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) along with their respective members and affiliated organizations.
It is proven that life jackets save lives and now, with so many styles and colors, there is no reason not to find one that is comfortable and fashionable enough to wear whenever you’re on the water.
Hope to see you there spreading awareness and saving lives!

Love it or leave it


Stonewall Swim

Posted by: Erin Mondello

   An overcast day with a real threat of rain didn’t stop almost 30 swimmers and their kayakers. Their goal? To swim approximately three miles across the Great South Bay towards the Fire Island Pines. The annual Stonewall swim raises money for the Stonewall Community Foundation. Such a dangerous mission required the support from multiple agencies, including the Coast Guard Auxiliary. It was a cross-divisional event where crew from Division 18 teamed up with Division 1 to ensure that the swimmers were able to cross safely, without the interference of boaters as well as keeping watch for swimmers in distress. 
   Aux Vessel 251384 began its day leaving from the Remsenburg Marina. Coxswain COMO Pica instructed his crew, Greg A. Sarafin and Bob Coco, to do the GAR and go over the checklist. GAR, or Green, Amber, Red is basically a conditions report giving a score for coxswain/crew experience and qualifications, weather and sea conditions, and the days plan. COMO Pica’s checklist is a list of equipment on the boat ensuring that the crew knows where everything is in case of an emergency. Then, after watches were assigned the team headed west towards the Great South Bay to join forces with vessels from Division 1. Upon passing the Smiths Point Bridge, COMO Pica radioed into Fire Island to pick up the radio guard, constantly maintaining communications every half hour with location and ops. Simply put, they continuously made Fire Island aware of their position and that everything was normal. 
   As they approached the location, ‘384 switched their radio guard to the lead Auxiliary vessel, freeing up Station Fire Island for more urgent calls. While the Aux vessels kept communications on one channel, they also monitored a second channel being used by the kayaker escorts. Upon arriving, COMO Pica met up with 8 other Auxiliary vessels who would be creating the borders and providing protection for the swimmers and kayakers. ‘384 was stationed on the east side of the swim lane at the rear and was constantly scanning for any swimmers who may have been lagging behind or becoming distressed. It was only shortly after the last heat (or group of swimmers) had left the beach did the crew notice a kayakers paddle positioned vertically, the sign that their swimmer needed assistance. COMO Pica veered his vessel towards the swimmer monitoring the situation until a boat could come and pick him up and bring him towards the front. The second task for Auxiliary vessels was to ensure that no boaters entered the swim lane and endangered the swimmers and kayakers. A few times COMO Pica had to radio to other vessels that a boat was making a quick approach towards the race. The rest of the day followed suit with ‘384 keeping to the rear ensuring that no one was left behind and no vessel entered the restricted area. 
   As the race came to an end, COMO Pica reestablished communications with Fire Island and headed back East. On the way, he stopped off to check the breach on the West side of Smiths Point Bridge, an area that closes and opens with each powerful hurricane, the last of which was Hurricane Sandy. Once back on the other side of the bridge, he established communications with Station Shinnecock and made a presence at two Vessel Exam days at local marinas. Following the display he dropped his crew back off at Remsenburg Marina until the next Auxiliary patrol.


For pictures regarding this and other events, please visit our Facebook page... link located to the left!