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State specific boating safety courses, the boatus foundation offers the only free online boating safety course developed specifically for your state..

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Recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard, approved by NASBLA and your state boating license agency.

Alaska DNR

Free Alaska Office of Boating Safety boating safety course

Arizona Game and Fish Department

Free Arizona Game and Fish Department boating safety course

California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways

Free California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways boating safety course

Colorado Parks and Wildlife

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Arizona Game and Fish Department

Free Delaware DNR boating safety course

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DC, Washington

Free District of Columbia Harbor Patrol boating safety course

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Free Florida Fish and Wildlife boating safety course

Georgia Department of Natural Resources

Free Georgia Department of Natural Resources boating safety course

Hawaii Division of Boating and Recreation

Free Hawaii Division of Boating and Recreation boating safety course

Idaho State Parks and Recreation

Free Idaho State Parks and Recreation boating safety course

Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Free Indiana Department of Natural Resources boating safety course

Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Free Iowa Department of Natural Resources boating safety course

Kansas Department of Wildlife

Free Kansas Department of Wildlife boating safety course

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife

Free Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife boating safety course

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

Free Louisiana Department of Wildlife boating safety course

Maine

Free state specific boating safety course

Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Free Maryland Department of Natural Resources boating safety course

Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, & Parks

Mississippi

Free Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, & Parks boating safety course

Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Park

Free Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Park boating safety course

Nevada Department of Wildlife

Free Nevada Department of Wildlife boating safety course

New Mexico Energy, Minerals & Natural Resources Department

Free New Mexico Energy, Minerals & Natural Resources Department boating safety course

New York State Parks

Free New York State Parks boating safety course

North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

North Carolina

Free North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission boating safety course

North Dakota Game and Fish Department

North Dakota

Free North Dakota Game and Fish Department boating safety course

Ohio Division of Parks & Watercraft

Free Ohio Division of Parks & Watercraft boating safety course

Oklahoma Parks and Wildlife Division

Free Oklahoma Parks and Wildlife Division boating safety course

Oregon State Marine Board

Free Oregon State Marine Board boating safety course

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

South Carolina

Free South Carolina Department of Natural Resources boating safety course

South Dakota Department of Game, Fish & Parks

South Dakota

Free South Dakota Department of Game, Fish & Parks boating safety course

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency

Free Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency boating safety course

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

Free Texas Parks & Wildlife Department boating safety course

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Free Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries boating safety course

Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission

Free Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission boating safety course

West Virginia Division of Natural Resources

West Virginia

Free West Virginia Division of Natural Resources boating safety course

Wyoming Game & Fish Department

Free Wyoming Game & Fish Department boating safety course

not approved boating safety course

The following state courses are NOT Approved to satisfy your states mandatory education requirements.

The courses below can be used as a refresher or study guide for an in person class or proctored exam. They can also qualify you for a premium discount on your BoatUS insurance policy.

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Sea School

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Maritime training school, "we hold your hand till' it holds a license", in-person classroom.

Come to one of our many locations to get certified

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“She School” designed for Women by Women

Coast Guard has approved this newly designed course for women. If you would like to know more details, please get in contact with your nearest SeaSchool location.

We have been in business for over 42 years with convenient locations along the Eastern Seaboard, Gulf Coast and the Caribbean.

Get in touch, write to us, our courses.

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  • About EAGLE

Training on EAGLE

The USCGC  EAGLE  is a 295-foot, three-masted barque used as a training vessel for future officers of the United States Coast Guard. Known as “America’s Tall Ship,” the majestic  EAGLE  is the largest tall ship flying the Stars and Stripes and the only active square-rigger in U.S. government service.

Facts and Figures

  • Length of  EAGLE : 295 ft. (roughly equivalent to a football field)
  • Number of sails: 23
  • Sail area: 22,227 square feet
  • Tallest mast: 150 feet (roughly equivalent to a 15-story building)
  • Length of rigging: 6 miles
  • Working crew: 55
  • Maximum people capacity: 239
  • Weight: 1,655 tons ( EAGLE ’s hull and decks are made of steel)
  • Speed under sail: 17 knots (20 mph)
  • Speed under power: 10 knots (11 mph)
  • Gallons of fuel oil: 24,215
  • Weight of anchors: 3,860 lbs.

History of EAGLE

Built at the Blohm+Voss Shipyard in Hamburg, Germany in 1936, and commissioned as Horst Wessel,  EAGLE  was one of three sail-training ships operated by the pre-World War II German navy. At the close of the war, the ship was taken as a war reparation by the U.S., re-commissioned as the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter  EAGLE  and sailed to New London, Connecticut, which has been her permanent homeport ever since.

Goodwill EAGLE

USCGC  EAGLE’s  primary mission is training cadets and officer candidates, but the ship also performs a public relations role for the Coast Guard and America.  EAGLE  welcomes the public to visit during domestic port calls, and makes calls at foreign ports as a floating goodwill ambassador for US diplomatic relations.  EAGLE  has hosted Presidents Kennedy, Nixon and Truman.

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NASBLA and our project partners, the U.S. Coast Guard Office of Boat Forces, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and the National Safe Boating Council, have established a nationally standardized course curriculum to teach boat crew operations to a wide variety of marine law enforcement officers, first responders and others who support recreational boating safety and related maritime public safety missions.

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What "NMMA-Certified" Really Means

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When shopping for a new boat, there's one sticker that matters more than the rest. Here's how a boat earns the "NMMA-Certified" logo, and what it means to you.

Inspecting boat intake

NMMA inspector Steve Carrier examines the engine air intake of a boat under construction.

New boats sport a lot of stickers. some warn about the hazards of carbon monoxide, others remind you of the prohibitions on discharging waste or oil. but if you're shopping for a new boat this spring, one to look for says "NMMA-certified using ABYC standards." alphabet soup aside, this means that someone with an enormously deep fund of knowledge about boatbuilding has inspected this model of boat at different times during its building process and deemed it built to standards developed by the industry to ensure a high degree of safety.

This past fall, BoatUS spent time with independent inspector Steve Carrier, who reports to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), during a visit to Regal Boats in Orlando, Florida, a boatbuilding company that has paid to go through the rigorous process of NMMA certification.

Wait, Aren't Inspections the Coast Guard's Job?

Unlike for cars or airplanes, there are relatively few federal regulations regarding the construction of boats. Sure, the Coast Guard has rules regarding flotation and stability, plus engine-ventilation requirements for gas inboards, but these have little to do with how a boat is built and more to do with meeting minimal safety requirements. As a matter of fact, if your boat measures longer than 20 feet and sports diesel power, there are virtually no federal regulations that apply to its construction.

On boats 26 feet and less, look for the "NMMA-Certified" logo on the capacity plate. Larger boats should have a separate "Yacht Certified" plate aboard.

The federal government doesn't dictate how far away a steering wheel should be from a throttle lever, or how much of the view through a windshield can be obscured by supports, or any of the dozens of other safety considerations. Boatbuilding is largely self-regulated.

To ensure that boating remains safe and enjoyable — and to make it unnecessary for government to step in — the boatbuilders had to come up with an effective way to police them-selves at a high standard.

Standards + Certification

Boats are paradoxical vehicles in that, largely in pursuit of pleasure and at considerable expense, we buy them in order to drive them into a challenging environment. We take for granted that much of the responsibility for getting safely home lies on our shoulders and on our practice of good seamanship, and we put our trust in our vessels that they won't let us down when we need them. The American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) strives to make sure that a boat's construction is not at fault if something does not go according to our plan out there. "It's our industry following the lead of so many other industries, and self-regulating rather than being subject to far-reaching and unchangeable federal regulations," says John Adey, president of ABYC (and one of our own BoatUS Magazine contributing editors).

Examining back plates

With the deck cap off, backing plates can be examined for hard-point attachments such as cleats.

Founded in 1954, the ABYC today is made up of more than 400 volunteers who serve on the committees that author the standards, plus a small, dedicated full-time staff. Each committee, known as a technical working group, digs deep into one standard, each of which is reviewed on either a three- or five-year cycle. The groups can be anywhere from 14 to 45 members strong, made up of a balance of boaters, boatbuilders, marine surveyors, government agencies, accessory manufacturers, insurance-industry experts, and some BoatUS staff.

Through these technical working groups, ABYC has written 58 standards, each of which touches on a different aspect of boatbuilding. The overall focus of each standard is safety, regardless of whether it applies to internal fuel tankage or the boat's horn. Collectively, the most recent edition of the standards total 1,152 pages. This phonebook-sized compendium of recommendations is available to all boatbuilders for the cost of ABYC membership, but it is completely optional. It's up to the builder to decide whether or not to follow these standards unless the builder happens to be a member of the NMMA.

In 2003, the NMMA and ABYC joined forces when the NMMA decided to start enforcing ABYC standards through their certification process. Prior to that, the NMMA relied on their own standards, similar to the ABYC's. Now, NMMA's boatbuilder members are required to participate in the certification process. Thanks to their efforts, more than 180 boatbuilders now build to the standards, and NMMA reports that around 85 percent of the boats sold in the U.S. today are certified.

Top To Bottom

The certification process starts with designating someone at the boatbuilding plant as the point person for the venture — a significant role. That person is responsible for knowing all 58 of the standards, inside and out, and for educating the builder's workforce how to comply. The NMMA makes this easier by hosting annual training seminars on the standards, taught by NMMA and ABYC staff, the independent inspectors that travel to each plant, and other industry experts. At the end, there's an open-book test that challenges the builder's rep to apply the standard to real-world boatbuilding examples. "The inspectors have been authoring the exams," says Carrier, an independent inspector hired by the NMMA to inspect boats for certification. "Test takers must dig into the standards and think."

"One of our jobs is to help boatbuilders evolve and comply with the standards," says Robert Newsome, NMMA director of engineering standards. "It typically takes 40 to 50 hours annually to study for and take the compliance exam." The next step is to submit a master list of all the boat models the builder plans to make in the coming model year. New models — or if the boatbuilder is just beginning participation in the certification program — must be scrutinized onsite by a certification inspector.

Overseeing generator installation

Carrier points out key elements of a proper generator installation and an enclosed cable run (in gray) that keeps the engine room neat and the wires protected.

During our inspection demonstration at Regal, Carrier showed us how he inspects a boat for compliance, moving from partially completed boats to finished boats, pointing out areas of interest along the way. The list of items he scrutinized seemed endless. The standards set everything from the minimum distance between supports for wire runs and hoses, to checking for the presence of a charcoal-filled fuel-vent vapor filter, part of the recently adopted fuel-fill and evaporative emissions standards. With the decks still off a cruiser, we could inspect the backing plates for cleats and wiring for shore power, and see the surface area of an engine-ventilation intake. Inside the hull, the back sides of cabinetry was exposed, revealing wire runs, ductwork for air conditioning, and freshwater hoses.

At one point at Regal, we inspected a midsize cruiser without engines installed. The empty engine bay gave Carrier a chance to look at how other systems had been installed including the generator and its exhaust run, which according to the standards should exit the boat as close to the stern as is practical.

A glance at the fuel system told Carrier whether the boat was destined for diesel or gas sterndrives, which further defined the list of items he had to examine. Carrier knew the standards inside and out, and also carried a condensed version in a notebook. When a question arose about the exact placement of a gas fume detector in an engine compartment, he quickly found the answer (a few inches above the high-water alarm level in the bilge).

Throughout the inspection, Carrier gave notes to Dennis Reis, Regal's head of engineering and one of two people at Regal responsible for compliance. In certificationspeak, any deviation from the standard would be a "variance" and trigger a followup. At the end of the inspection, the inspector turns in a written report within a week listing any variances found. The builder then has 30 days to respond to the NMMA with a corrective action plan for each item. For production-based variances — for example insufficient supports on a hose run, or too many wires on a fuse block — educating the worker tasked with the assembly of those components about the correct process might be all that is required.

"The majority of variance issues that turn up are production-based for a builder continuing in the program," says Newsome. For engineering-based variances, where something was designed in a manner inconsistent with the standards, testing or reengineering the part may be required, as well as photo documentation during follow-up.

Complying with these constantly updated standards for each new model seems like a gargantuan task, but there are ways to keep compliance from being overwhelming. For instance, boatbuilders rely on numerous vendors to supply boat parts; everything from cleats and thru-hulls to fuel tanks and horns comes from outside suppliers. Some items are critical components, such as fuel tanks, and require additional scrutiny in the form of standards from other organizations such as Underwriters Laboratory (UL), or the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

The NMMA compiles a list of those that meet the requirements, deems them "type-accepted," and allows builders to use such components without further testing.

Boating Benefits

Builders that are not NMMA members may still build to ABYC standards, but they are not inspected, or certified. Adey says many low-volume builders do their best to comply and build to the standards. Smaller builders do so knowing that the ABYC standards exceed the minimum requirements of the federal government.

Used-boat buyers can look for the "NMMA-Certified using ABYC standards" logo on the capacity plate of boats measuring 26 feet or less, or look for a "Yacht Certified" plate, typically metal and permanently affixed, if the boat is longer than 26 feet. This indicates the boat was certified to the standards in effect at the time of construction; however, any repairs or changes made by a prior owner may or may not have been made according to ABYC recommendations.

Marine fuel line

Some types of equipment may be approved by standards other than the NMMA's such as those of organizations like the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) or the Coast Guard.

Manufacturers that go to the added trouble and expense to build their boats to ABYC standards and participate in the NMMA certification process are proud of it and view the certification visits as learning opportunities, where they can improve the boatbuilding process and their products. And though building to the standards can increase the cost of doing business — for instance, the recently adopted fuel-fill and evaporative emissions standard effectively raised the cost of a fuel tank by as much as 300 percent — the builders believe the alternative, regulations written by federal agencies, would be far more onerous.

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Michael Vatalaro

Contributor, BoatUS Magazine

Michael Vatalaro is the former executive editor of BoatUS Magazine. He has a Pursuit center console, which he uses in the Chesapeake Bay.

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2 rescued as 80-foot yacht sinks off Florida coast

80-foot motor yacht, atlantis, believed to have struck submerged dredge pipe piling.

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Two boaters were rescued from a sinking 80-foot yacht over the weekend after the vessel struck a submerged dredge pipe off the coast of Florida , authorities said.

The operator of the motor yacht Atlantis sent a distress call around 11:30 a.m. Saturday stating the vessel struck an object and began taking on water about three miles off St. Augustine Beach, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) said.

Marine units with St. Johns County Fire Rescue rescued two people aboard the sinking yacht. One of the individuals suffered minor injuries and was taken to a local hospital in stable condition, the USCG said.

Photos show the stern of the yacht sinking beneath the water and tipping the bow straight toward the sky.

CHARTER BOAT LIKELY CAPSIZED IN LEADUP TO WRECK THAT KILLED 5 OFF ALASKA COAST: COAST GUARD

yacht sinking

The Atlantis, an 80-foot motor yacht, sank about three miles off the coast of St. Augustine Beach. (St. Johns County Fire Rescue )

The vessel is believed to have struck a dredge pipe piling that was partially submerged, according to St. Johns County Fire Rescue.

warning sign for submerged pipeline

Officials said the vessel is believed to have struck a dredge pipe piling that was partially submerged. (St. Johns County Fire Rescue )

The Coast Guard thanked St. Johns County Fire Rescue, local police and nearby good Samaritans for helping to coordinate the rescue of the stranded mariners from the sinking yacht.

yacht sinking

The two individuals aboard the yacht were recued. (St. Johns County Fire Rescue)

yacht in water

The yacht operator issued a distress call around 11:30 a.m. on Saturday. (St. Johns County Fire Rescue)

Officials also noted that the luxury yacht activated its properly registered emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) to allow rescuers to pinpoint the vessel's location.

8 INJURED IN AIRBOAT CRASH IN CENTRAL FLORIDA, DEPUTIES SAY

yacht sinking

The Atlantis, an 80-foot motor yacht, takes on water after it struck an object in the water. (U.S. Coast Guard)

yacht sinking

A hazard to navigation broadcast was issued to alert mariners of the partially submerged vessel. (U.S. Coast Guard)

"With the weather improving and mariners heading out onto the water, it's imperative for everyone to verify the presence of all necessary safety equipment aboard their vessel," said Senior Chief Petty Officer Ricardo Santacana, the command duty officer of Sector Jacksonville. "This ensures that responders, as demonstrated in this case, can swiftly locate you and render assistance when an emergency arises." 

yacht sinking

The vessel struck something submerged in the water and began taking on water. (St. Johns County Fire Rescue)

yacht sinking

The vessel's owner is expected to arrange for the salvage of the yacht. (St. Johns County Fire Rescue)

The owner of the Atlantis is expected to arrange salvage, according to USCG officials.

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The cause of the incident remains under investigation. 

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$1 million 80-foot luxury yacht sinks off Florida coast, 2 rescued

J ACKSONVILLE, Fla. ( WNCN ) — Two people were rescued just before a $1 million luxury 80-foot sport yacht sank off the coast of Florida Saturday, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The incident was reported just after 11:35 a.m. about 3 miles off St. Augustine Beach, a news release from the Coast Guard said.

The operator of the Atlantis, an 80-foot sport yacht, said the vessel hit an object in the water and was sinking.

The Coast Guard sent out a boat crew to assist and coordinated with St. John’s County Fire and Rescue, which soon arrived and plucked both people from the yacht.

The Atlantis yacht appears to be a 1999 or early 2000s model of the Sunseeker Predator 80.

A larger Sunseeker Predator was featured in the 2006 James Bond film “Casino Royale.”

A 2001 Predator that is 5 feet shorter than Atlantis, which sank Saturday, is listed for sale for $975,000.

Sunseeker Predator 80 yacht, built in the United Kingdom, can accommodate up to six guests in four staterooms, with two crew members aboard.

Atlantis has two Caterpillar diesel engines and can reach a top speed of 44 kn, or 50 mph, according to data from Boat International.

A data sheet about Atlantis says the vessel is in the top 5% by speed in the world.

After Saturday’s rescue, a hazard to navigation was broadcast to alert mariners about the yacht, which could cause damage to other vessels, according to the Coast Guard.

The owner of the Atlantis will arrange for a salvage of the vessel, the Coast Guard said.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to FOX31 Denver.

$1 million 80-foot luxury yacht sinks off Florida coast, 2 rescued

80-foot yacht hits object, sinks off Florida coast; 2 rescued, US Coast Guard says

A relaxing day on the water off the coast of Florida ended in a rescue for two people after their yacht reportedly struck something and started to sink, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard received an emergency alert around 11:30 a.m. Saturday from the operators of Atlantis, an 80-foot yacht, reporting that it had struck something and was taking on water, the Coast Guard said in a news release. The yacht was located about three miles off the coast of St. Augustine Beach.

Officials with the St. Johns Sheriff's Office and St. Augustine Police Department were the first agencies to reach the vessel and help rescue the two people.

Photos shared by the U.S. Coast Guard showed the stern side of the boat – the rear – beneath the water, while the front side remained above the water. 

"We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our partner agencies for their invaluable assistance during this case," said Senior Chief Petty Officer Ricardo Santacana, command duty officer, Sector Jacksonville, in a written statement.

 "With the weather improving and mariners heading out onto the water, it's imperative for everyone to verify the presence of all necessary safety equipment aboard their vessel. This ensures that responders, as demonstrated in this case, can swiftly locate you and render assistance when an emergency arises." 

The Coast Guard said the yacht's owner would coordinate how to recover the boat from the water. The cause of the sinking remains under investigation.

Reforming the Coast Guard’s Certificate of Compliance Program for Ships Carrying Liquefied Gas

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Cover art for record id: 27803

Reforming the Coast Guard's Certificate of Compliance Program for Liquefied Gas Carriers: Promoting Efficient Implementation and Safety Effectiveness

As liquefied gas exports from U.S. ports have grown rapidly in recent years, reforms are needed to a U.S. Coast Guard program that examines liquefied gas carriers (LGCs). Going forward, this growth in LGC exports and arrivals is likely to increase the demand for gas carrier exams by Coast Guard marine inspectors, of which there is a chronic shortage.

TRB Special Report 350: Reforming the Coast Guard's Certificate of Compliance Program for Liquefied Gas Carriers: Promoting Efficient Implementation and Safety Effectiveness from the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, was requested by Congress out of concern for the Coast Guard's ability to examine the increasing number of foreign tank ships that load liquefied gas for transport overseas. The National Academies' committee concluded that the time is right for Congress to revisit the Certificate of Compliance program's requirements mandating the frequency of exams and to allow the Coast Guard greater flexibility to decide when and how to examine individual LGCs using indicators of risk.

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Coast Guard says Alaska charter boat likely capsized last year after flooding, killing 5

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SITKA, Alaska (AP) — A fishing charter boat found partially submerged off an island in southeast Alaska last May likely capsized after its well deck flooded in rough seas, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, which investigated the incident that left five people dead, including two vacationing sisters and their partners.

More than 100 people attended the Coast Guard’s town hall-style presentation in Sitka last week on the findings of its investigation, the Daily Sitka Sentinel reported .

Investigators said survival options were limited once the 30-foot (9-meter) boat, Awakin, capsized on May 28, 2023; the vessel was not required to carry an emergency raft. The boat, which was found off Low Island, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) west of Sitka, had minimal provisions for draining water from the well deck, the Coast Guard’s lead investigator, Cmdr. Nate Menefee, said.

“The initiating event of the Awakin’s casualty was a sudden flooding of Awakin’s well deck by a large swell,” Menefee said. “This was impacted by positioning the vessel close to Low Island in shallow water and at low tide, which brought the vessel to a hazardous area, increasing the likelihood of encountering large swells and breaking surf. The navigation of Awakin near Low Island is a major factor of this incident. Flooding the vessel’s well deck and limited drainage openings would have substantially impacted vessel stability.”

In this handout photo provided by the Philippine Coast Guard, members of the Coast Guard Station Southern Quezon rescue residents from their flooded homes in Lucena, Quezon province, Philippines on Sunday, May 26, 2024. Typhoon Ewiniar, locally known as Aghon, on Tuesday hit the Philippines, blowing away people and leaving at least seven dead, mostly due to floods or toppled trees. Several seaports have been shut down, stranding thousands of passengers, officials said. (Philippine Coast Guard via AP)

Menefee said there is a degree of uncertainty around the final minutes of the trip and added that the Coast Guard “cannot definitively say exactly what caused Awakin to capsize.” There were no witnesses and no distress calls received, the Coast Guard said.

At 2:43 p.m. on May 28, the boat’s tracking system recorded its last known location, just south of Low Island near a well-known fishing spot. One of the passengers trapped in the cabin tried five times to make emergency calls on their cellphone between 3:01 and 3:12 p.m., but no calls connected. A text message recovered from the phone’s draft messages folder read “Call 911” but was unsent.

The last photos recovered from a phone were taken at 2:43 p.m. and show a passenger holding a rockfish.

The lodge where the charter originated reported the boat overdue around 5:30 p.m. A Coast Guard helicopter launched at 6:55 p.m. and shortly thereafter located the boat, partially submerged. While the Coast Guard aims to maintain 30-minute readiness for launching a helicopter, it took longer that day because of fueling issues.

Those who died were charter guide Morgan Robidou, 32; Brandi Tyau, 56, and her partner Robert Solis, 61, of Canoga Park, California; and Danielle Agcaoili, 53, and her husband, Maury Agcaolli, 57, of Waipahu, Hawaii. Autopsies determined drowning was the cause of death of the four whose bodies were recovered .

us coast guard yacht certification

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