In Brief: U.S. Coast Guard, BoatUS, ODNR, Thrane & Thrane, ACR Electronics

Adm. Thad W. Allen will be relieved by Adm. Robert J. Papp, Jr., as commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard during a military change of command ceremony scheduled for Tuesday, May 25, 11 a.m., at Fort Lesley J. McNair. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will preside over the event. This is a time-honored naval tradition, which formally restates the continuity and authority of command and involves the total transfer of responsibility, authority and accountability from one individual to another, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

As part of a nationwide effort to encourage more boaters to voluntarily wear a life jacket, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) headquarters staff in Alexandria, Va., gathered to hold an Inflatable Life Jacket World Record Day event yesterday at 11:00 AM EDT. One of dozens of similar events being held across the U.S. and Canada, BoatUS crew activated their inflatable life jackets en masse by tugging hard on their life jackets’ manual operation lanyard, instantly inflating this important piece of safety gear. “We wanted to show how easy inflatable life jackets are to wear and use,” said BoatUS Foundation Program Manager Ted Sensenbrenner. “With inflatables, boaters and anglers don’t have to sacrifice comfort when trying to stay safe on the water.” The event was sponsored by the National Safe Boating Council in partnership with the Canadian Safe Boating Council and was part of the kick-off for National Safe Boating Week, May 22-28. The organizations hope to set a world record on the number of inflatable life jackets activated. National sponsor Cabela’s also held events at their stores and Leland, Ltd. donated CO2 cartridges to help boaters practice re-arming techniques.

To recognize National Safe Boating Week and promote the importance of wearing approved life jackets, 85 people participated in the Inflatable Life Jacket World Record Inflation Day at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) headquarters in Columbus yesterday. Coordinated by ODNR’s Division of Watercraft, the participants simultaneously inflated their life jackets to help set an unprecedented world record. Other Ohio locations hosting similar events included Grandview Heights, also in Franklin County, and Cleveland. “We believe that a good boating experience is a safe one and boating safety begins with the choices boaters make before leaving the dock, such as wearing an approved life jacket,” said Pam Dillon, chief of the Division of Watercraft.

Thrane & Thrane has signed up to become Official Sponsor of Satellite and Radio Communications Equipment for the third consecutive Volvo Ocean Race. The agreement means that Thrane & Thrane’s latest generations of SAILOR FleetBroadband and VHF equipment will be onboard every Volvo Open 70 as they line up in Alicante for the start of the race in October 2011. From upload of race footage, reports and interviews for television and web, to download of weather data vital for competitive navigation performance, all of the teams will benefit from true broadband communication along the entire course around the globe, the company stated.

As a tour of marine units begin their National Safe Boating Week “Wear It Florida” tour down the Intracoastal Waterway, a 406 MHz Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) will be onboard the lead boat to remind boaters of the importance of carrying satellite detectible emergency beacons aboard their boats. ACR Electronics, Inc., based in Fort Lauderdale, provided the PLB, an AquaLink View, for the six day safety awareness tour, created as a joint effort between the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), United States Coast Guard (USCG) and all local partners (Coast Guard Auxiliary, US Power Squadron, Maritime enforcement agencies and vendors such as ACR Electronics that specialize in safety product in and around the marine environment). The Life Jackets for Life Tour will begin Sunday, May 23 with a 2 p.m. kick-off at Sister’s Creek Jim King Park & Boat Ramp in Jacksonville and will conclude Friday, May 28 at 10 a.m. with a media event at Watson Island in Miami.

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