Need to know how to contact the Coast Guard, either by phone or VHF radio? Or what to do in an emergency on the water?
Never fear, there is a FREE guide from the District 13 Coast Guard, covering these and many other safety questions in their Special Notice To Mariners.
The 2014 Special Notice has been released and the links have been updated.
The Special Notice to Mariners is available as a free PDF download that you can print your self. The Special Notice is updated yearly to keep it current.
Chapter I covers Emergency Procedures, who to call and how, preparing to be towed, how to operate Coast Guard Dropable Pumps, Helicopter Evacuation Procedures, and other information that could save the life of you or your crew.
Chapter II is a quick Guide to First Aid, how to handle on-board medical emergencies, guidelines on when to ask for more help, a suggestion that all vessel operators / owners take a first aid class appropriate for how they use their vessel.
Chapter III, Guide to Hazardous Bars on the Washington and Oregon Coast.
Chapter IV, Communications, Radio frequencies, channels and usage. The time Notice to Mariners are broadcast and the frequencies are listed. VHF channels and their usage is covered as well as the Marine NOAA Weather broadcast stations and frequencies.
There are nine additional chapters, covering Boating Safety, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Aids to Navigation,, Vessel Traffic Service, Maritime Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Cautionary Situations, Bridge Information and Charts & Publications.
A very handy guide, several boaters I know have printed out the Special Notice or sections (if you never go boating on the coast the Guide to Hazardous Bars is probably not needed) of the Special Notice to keep on their boats or carry with them when they crew on other boats.
Much of the safety information is relevant anywhere in the United States. In the past some other districts have had their own version, but not every district has a special notice.
UPDATE: June 4, 2014. The 2014 Special Notice has now been released and the direct link has been updated.
UPDATE: August 29, 2014. Updated cover image to 2014 & edited text for 2014 update.
UPDATE: August 4, 2016. A direct link has been added to the 2014 Special Notice PDF file not on a Coast Guard server until the Special Notice is updated.
How to get your copy:
Visit District 13 LNM Home Page (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana). The Special Notice to Mariners is at the top under “Special Notices.” The Special Notice to Mariners is updated every spring.
Direct link to the D13 2014_Special_Notice To Mariners (7 meg PDF download) this is a link to the file not on the Coast Guard system as the Special Notice has not been updated in a while, most of the information should still be useful, but caution should be exercised when using any information. The special notice is usually updated in the spring, but has been delayed for some time.
U.S. COAST GUARD NAVIGATION CENTER, Home page for the Navigation Center.
Home page for Local Notices to Mariners, links to the Local Notice to Mariners for each U.S. Coast Guard District.
Thanks for your interest in and support of Boating safety.
– c / m –