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Local America’s Boating Club chapter honored for civic service

By Staff | Apr 24, 2019

PHOTO PROVIDED America’s Boating Club of Sanibel-Captiva Past Commander Pat Schmidt receives the BoatUS Foundation’s Distinguished Civic Service Award at the April 13 district meeting.

Each year, the BoatUS Foundation recognizes 10 chapters of the America’s Boating Club whose efforts in the area of civic service are exemplary.

At the District 22 Conference on April 13 – District 22 represents clubs ranging from Tampa to Marco Island – the Sanibel-Captiva chapter was honored for its civic service initiatives. America’s Boating Club of Sanibel-Captiva was recognized not only for its many initiatives in the area of safe boating, but also for its work throughout the community.

On-the-water programs for the organization focus on safe boating; the America’s Boating Club is known throughout the nation for its comprehensive boating education program. The America’s Boating Course, its entry-level course, qualifies graduates with their Florida boating license – a requirement for all boaters born after Jan. 1, 1989. In addition, the club offers a broad range of courses to equip boaters with the skills required to be safe at sea.

In fact, the America’s Boating Course is considered such a critical part of island life, the club’s instructors teach the same course to all sixth-graders at The Sanibel School.

A hallmark program of the organization is its vessel safety checks. Free to all, the club will meet boaters at their private dock or any public landing and do a safety check of their boat. The checklist of on-board safety equipment, as well as the operating equipment, should be an annual occurrence for all boaters. It is virtually the same check that the U.S. Coast Guard will conduct when it stops a boat.

PHOTO PROVIDED America’s Boating Club of Sanibel-Captiva Member Jim Hock receives a Life Membership award at the April 13 district meeting for his 25 years of volunteerism to the islands chapter.

The list of safe boating work extends into partnerships with both of the islands’ fire district. Offering on-the-water emergency assistance, a highly-trained group of boaters respond throughout the year when called to assist in any on-water safety situations.

Beyond the water, the squadron is dedicated to working with other non-profit organizations, ranging from Captains for Clean Water and F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva, to the children’s hospital and more.

Fore more information about the Sanibel-Captiva chapter, visit sancapboating.club.