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SPORTS AND OUTDOORS

April 10th, 2014

Groups provide second free boating safety class on the Key

A free boating safety class in Key Biscayne in February was such a success that organizers are offering a follow-up opportunity in hopes of protecting more people as they take to area waterways.
The Key Biscayne Community Center, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and Monica Burguera Foundation are sponsoring the class, with the foundation covering the $25 fee, on Saturday, May 17, from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. in the Island Room on the second floor of the Community Center.
Space is limited, and registration is available at the Community Center front desk.
Organizers note, “Given Florida’s expansive coastline, it’s no surprise it leads the nation in both the number of boating accidents and fatalities. Despite a decrease in the number of registered vessels over the past few years, accidents are on the rise. The one-day course will cover everything a boater needs to know about watercraft safety.”
Participants will be given an introduction to boating and will learn about proper boat handling, dealing with boating problems, trailering, legal and state requirements, personal safety, navigation, use of radiotelephones and water sports safety.
It’s information that can help boaters avoid becoming another statistic. Organizers note since 2010, 214 people have died on Florida waters – and many of the deaths were attributable to operator carelessness or inexperience and could have been avoided through proper education.
Participants who successfully complete the one-day program will also be awarded the USCG Auxiliary Certificate of Accomplishment and a Florida Boating Safety Education ID Card, which is required to operate a boat for anyone born on or after January 1, 1988.
Furthermore, many insurance companies offer a 10-15 percent discount on insurance for people who successfully complete the course and present the certificate.
For more information, visit www.mbfBoatingSafety.org or contact Henry Cespedes at 305-428-2453, extension 2 or fsope@flotilla67.org .
Residents can also contact the Community Center at 305-365-8900.
The Monica Burguera Foundation was established in memory of Monica Burguera, a 20-year-old Florida International University student who died in a tragic boating accident during the 2006 Columbus Day Regatta weekend festivities in Miami. The foundation is committed to saving lives and making the waters safer for all by promoting watercraft safety and boater education.

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