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Pre-Season Safety Check

John Thompson and CG Auxiliary officer Rick Saber check the expiration dates on John’s flare gun ammo.

latitude/Andy
©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

John Thompson’s Tanzer sloop may only be 22 feet long, but she’s fitted out with all the safety gear that would be found on a boat twice her size. We ran into John at Loch Lomond Marina on Sunday as his well-cared-for boat was being inspected by Coast Guard Auxiliary officer Rick Saber.

John, who’s had a variety of sailing adventures in different parts of the world, knows the importance of keeping his safety gear properly stowed and up to date. So he contacted Rick to volunteer for the inspection — and passed without a problem.

Among the items inspectors look for are flares (with valid expiration dates), approved life jackets, waste disposal placards, proper sanitation devices and visual distress signals. It’s smart to get your vessel inspected periodically, and having a recent certificate on hand will often exempt you from random boardings by Coast Guardsman patroling Bay waters. Rick and other inspectors will be happy to check your boat at a convenient time and place. Click here to see a complete inspector’s form.

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The ‘ick meter’ was cranked up several notches last week when, on the same day the big wind storm rolled through, a dead gray whale made its smelly way around Richardson Bay.