News Release

August 15, 2018

Contact: Russ Eisenhardt

Vice Flotilla Commander
Public Affairs Officer
(678) 778-0656

News Release

Bluffton Police Safety Checked by US Coast Guard Auxiliary Hilton Head Flotilla 070-10-11

August 15, 2018 – Ken Cotogno, Flotilla Staff Officer for Vessel Exams performed a Free Vessel Safety Check on the Bluffton Police Boat Friday, checking all onboard safety equipment to be sure everything that was needed was indeed there and that nothing had past the expiration dates noted on the devices by the various manufacturers. Bluffton Police Boat Captain Master Police Officer Mark Dorsey was aboard working with the Coast Guard Auxiliary to facilitate the Safety Check. The boat passed and received an Inspection Decal for 2018.

Local Boat Owners can also have their boats and paddleboards inspected and receive a similar 2018 Safety Decal. (The service is FREE from the Coast Guard Auxiliary.) The Decal notifies both the Coast Guard and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources patrols that the vessel has complied with regulation requirements, many times eliminating the need for a safety stop on the water. Request your Free Vessel Safety Check by completing the form at

The Process helps to insure Boating Safety and brings with it the peace of mind that your boat meets federal safety standards and that you will have the necessary equipment to save lives and summon help in an emergency.In many cases, boating insurance agencies offer discounts for vessels which undergo a Vessel Safety Check every year. All decals and safety checks are void December 31st of year they are inspected. They are also void should the operator /owner fail to maintain the vessel’s equipment or the vessel itself to the standard at the time of the safety check.

Type of items checked…

·         Life Jackets

·         Registration and numbering

·         Navigation lights

·         Ventilation

·         Fire extinguishers

·         Distress signals (flares, horn, etc.)

·         Battery cover and connections

All of these items are currently required by state and federal laws and, if missing or non-operating, can result in a citation if your vessel is inspected by the Coast Guard.

Request your Free Vessel Safety Check by completing the form at



Bluffton Police Boat Captain Master Police Officer Mark Dorsey works with US Coast Guard Auxiliary Hilton Head Flotilla Staff Officer Ken Cotogno during the recent Safety Check of the Bluffton Police Boat.  The Boat passed the inspection and received a 2018 US Coast Guard Safety Decal.

 The Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed civilian component of the U.S. Coast Guard and supports the Coast Guard in nearly all mission areas. The Auxiliary was created by Congress in 1939. For more information, please visit