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Coast Guard offers holiday gift suggestions


December 05, 2003
Friday - 12:45 am

Want to give someone a gift that they could really use?  Give them a gift that might save their life!
The Coast Guard has a couple of great gift suggestions for you!  Give your loved one a second personal floatation device (PFD) for the holidays this year!  Give them a PFD, otherwise known as a lifejacket!  Studies show that almost every boating fatality in Alaska is because people fell overboard or capsize their boat.  Because it happens in the blink of an eye, coldwater immersion can kill in many ways. 
A PFD, or lifejacket, is the vital link between life and death in this situation.  Many of today's lifejackets are so comfortable that boaters won't even know they have one on.  New models include inflatable vests, camouflage for hunters, and float coats, vests with pockets for fishermen, and many other styles.  You make the choice!
If they already have a PFD, give them a boating safety course!  Several organizations offer boating safety courses in Alaska.  The Coast Guard Auxiliary offers courses including Boating Skills and Seamanship, Boating Safely, Sailing Fundamentals, basic and advanced coastal navigation courses, and an interesting course called Navigating with GPS (Global Positioning System) for the "technophile" on your list. 

And for the boater who wouldn't be caught dead in a classroom, the Coast Guard recommends a great home study course called America's Boating Course or ABCABC comes with an 80-page full-color manual and an interactive CD for home computer use.  It's great for adults, teens, and even pre-teens!  The price is right, too, under $35!  In fact, prices for all of the courses listed here range from around $20 to $35, making them easy to afford.
In addition to Auxiliary classes and home study courses, the Alaska Boating Safety Program offers an 8-hour course called Alaska Water Wise.  You can also sign them up for an Internet boating safety course. Courses for particular interests are listed on Alaska's boating safety web page at
For information on where to purchase or how to select a lifejacket, or to learn about boating safety classes in your area, contact the Coast Guard Boating Safety office at 1-800-478-6381 or 907-463-2298.


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United States Coast Guard
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Ketchikan, Alaska