• 72°

Estuarium, Pamlico Sail and Power Squadron host exhibit

By CHRISTOPHER RYAN OEHRLI

Washington Daily News

Over the next two weeks, local boaters will have the opportunity to learn or revisit safety precautions for when they are on the water.

The North Carolina Estuarium in Washington has partnered with the Pamlico Sail and Power Squadron to host a series of exhibitions and provide brochures on the topic.

Until July 28 a static display will be available in the Estuarium’s lobby, along with free brochures. On July 21 and 28, experienced boaters and members of PSPS will be there to answer questions about navigation, safety or membership, and will show a safety equipment display. A two-hour “Rules of the Road” seminar costing $13 per person or couple will be held beginning 1 p.m. on July 28, the exhibit’s last day.

Payment for the seminar can be arranged by emailing psped@gmail.com, calling 252-964-3009 or via Paypal at www.pamlicosailandpowersquadron.org.

According to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, 147 boating accidents occurred in the state’s waters in 2016. Twenty-two proved fatal.

“A lot of times people buy a boat and get a brochure but may not know how to respond if a ship approaches, or someone falls overboard, or something else happens,” said Sharon Alligood, the commander of PSPS.

PSPS is the 27th Squadron of the nonprofit United States Power Squadron. It was formed in 2000. Since then, it has held similar safety-focused exhibits, distributed information, worked with local youth groups and organized yearly National Safe Boating Week events in which participants are encouraged to wear life jackets.

The squadron’s classes are generally open to the public, said Alligood.

“We have an effort we do in May, but it’s important to do it more than once a year,” she said.

Benefits in boating education go beyond safety, she said. They also make the experience more enjoyable for those who might otherwise be unsure of themselves or simply more hesitant.

“It provides them with confidence, which makes it more fun to be on the boat,” she said.