Marine radio refresher offered

Laurel Beager – International Falls Journal

In an effort to promote safe boating on Rainy Lake, the Rendezvous Yacht Club is offering a marine radio refresher course with the help of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.
The course will be offered next Wednesday (May 23) at 7 p.m. in the banquet room at Almost Lindy’s (formerly The 19th Hole) east of International Falls.
Club commodore Eric Johnson said the course is open to the public and there is no need to register.
“Anybody who has an interest in safety and boating on the Rainy Lake basin is encouraged to attend,” he said.
Johnson added offering the course fulfills part of the mission of the RYC to promote safe boating.
Raoul Lufbery, a 15-year member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, and Tim Engrav, flotilla commander of the auxiliary’s Ash River Flotilla, will conduct the course.
It will provide information and proper protocol for using the marine band radio, as well as include a question-and-answer period.
Lufbery said the marine band radio is considered a boating or navigation safety tool. It offers numerous channels, with specific channels designated for certain uses.
Those specific channels are used for emergency transmissions, weather reports, and basic communication.
“We like to have people follow the regulations and guidelines to make sure they are not tying up emergency channels with general chatter,” he explained.
In addition, the radio is a safety device that can help people on the water experiencing emergencies or other troubles to communicate their urgency to the auxiliary, sheriff’s departments, U.S. National Park Services, or private people who have base stations.
Not all boaters have marine radio but many do, Lufbery noted.
“It’s a nice safety tool,” he remarked. “I would put it in the same category as a life jacket, horn, whistle, and flares.
“It’s just one more thing in their arsenal if they do have a problem.”