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U.S. Coast Guard Station Channel Islands Harbor to host Safe Boating Expo

by Scott Croft 27 Apr 12:43 UTC 11 May 2019
U.S. Coast Guard vessels will be open for tours at the Safe Boating Expo, but due to their popularity, reservations are required. © Scott Croft

Boating safety and family fun come together at the U.S. Coast Guard Station Channel Islands Harbor 14th annual Safe Boating Expo on Saturday, May 11, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 4201 South Victoria Ave., Oxnard. Included at the event is a free life jacket exchange that provides a new life jacket for every worn-out one brought to the event, as well as a free marine flare disposal opportunity offered by the Ventura Bomb Squad.

Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is urging boaters to take advantage of the flare disposal opportunity as there are currently only two collection sites in California that will accept and dispose of outdated flares. Outdated or unserviceable flares present a safety hazard and disposal challenge for boat owners as these required emergency signaling devices must be replaced about every three seasons of boating.

Also on tap at the Expo are fire extinguisher demonstrations, hand-on exhibits, free vessel safety exams, safety demonstrations and discussions, and a life jacket fashion show. Admission to the Expo is free as are tours of the 87-foot U.S. Coast Guard cutter Black Tip and the station's 45-foot Medium Response Boat. Reservations for the tours are required by May 5. Black Tip's missions have included combating drug smuggling and illegal immigration, marine fisheries enforcement, and search-and-rescue support. Other vessels on display include a TowBoatUS Ventura response vessel, which provides 24-hour on-water assistance to recreational boaters experiencing routine breakdowns, and local law enforcement patrol boats.

Organizations appearing at the event include The Port of Hueneme, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Channel Islands Harbor Patrol, Oxnard Police Traffic Dept., Channel Islands National Park, Ventura County Sheriff Rescue, Oxnard/Ventura County Fire Departments, NOAA Weather Service, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, Ventura County Sail and Power Squadron, Scouts BSA, Girl Scouts, Naval Sea Cadets, and more.

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