We were boarded by the coast guard
Disclaimer: We are currently in Buffalo, NY. I am behind on posting to our blog. This blog post is in real time on August 9th. Additional posts will cover from Lexington to Buffalo, NY
Just as we were about to pull into the outer break wall in Buffalo, NY. I saw a Coast Guard boat off our port coming toward us. As soon as they passed by us, they turned around and fell in behind us. That’s when I knew we were about to boarded.
They hailed us on the VHF, they asked what was your last port of call? Dunkirk, NY What is your next port of call? Erie Canal What is your final destination? Bahamas Have you recently been boarded by the Coast Guard? No How many people aboard? 2
Once we provided all these detailed answers, they instructed us to maintain our speed and heading and they would come along side.
Now at this point you are probably wondering what we did to get boarded by the Coast Guard? The short answer is nothing. The Coast Guard will randomly pick boats to board to do safety inspections to ensure you have all the required safety gear aboard.
So, they pulled up along side of us and 2 of the 5 Coast Guard guys came aboard our boat. They were friendly. Wanted to know where we were from and were interested in our journey to the Bahamas. In order to complete their safety inspection, they required certain information from us during the time they were aboard our boat.
First up was our Coast Guard documentation, and our state registration. I quickly grabbed those documents for them while one guy started to fill out his form.
The other guy and I went below to review all our safety gear. First up, fire extinguishers. Yes, we have 2 aboard and they are the right type and size and are within the expiration date. Check!
Next up, flares. Do we have the required number of both day and night visual distress signals. I showed him our stash of flares and he checks all the expiration dates on everything. Check! We even have dye markers that put an orange color in the water. The Coast Guard guy said, he had never seen one before.
Next up, horn. Do you have a horn or device to make noise. Yep, here are 2 right here next to the helm.
Next, do you have the required placards that state you can’t discharge oil into the water, placard that says you can’t dump garbage and the third is a placard for a waste management plan. We have all the required placards which are just really stickers stuck to the inside of the boat somewhere.
Next up, is your waste (human variety) overboard discharge disabled. This means that you should not have the ability to dump your waste overboard. Look under the floorboards. Check!
Next up, do we have a throwable flotation device. Right there hanging on the side railing, check!
Do you have life jackets? We are wearing them, check!
That was about all they wanted to know and it was smooth, painless, friendly and quick! We really appreciate the work that the Coast Guard does and we hope to never need their services. We don’t mind being boarded and further their education and our safety!