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Featured Image: The Coast Guard Cutter Narwhal seen from a Coast Guard helicopter in late August 2003 near Catalina Island. The 87-foot patrol boat was underway when photographed. Photo: Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard District 11

By Breeana Greenberg

The Dana Point Flotilla of the Coast Guard Auxiliary will offer public tours of the Coast Guard Cutter Narwhal at the Ocean Institute on Saturday, April 2. From 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., the Auxiliary will offer boating safety information and public tours of the warship.

The Auxiliary, a volunteer organization that supports the U.S. Coast Guard, will hold a boating safety pop-up where it will provide information on boater safety, proper use of safety equipment, federal and state requirements, as well as information for those interested in joining the group.

The purpose of the event is to “raise the public’s awareness of the boating safety activities we do and the services that we offer,” Dana Point Flotilla Commander Garry Nelson said.

The auxiliary offers courtesy vessel exams to point out deficiencies if a boat doesn’t meet regulations and gives boats that do pass a sticker to put on their windshield to alert the Coast Guard that the vessel has passed the exam.

The volunteer group also assists the Coast Guard in marine observation patrols.

“The purpose of the auxiliary is, we are the uniformed volunteer branch of the Coast Guard … and our main mission is to support the Coast Guard, and primarily, in the area of boating safety,” Nelson continued. “We do that through public education and that’s what this event is … We’re really trying to keep the boat in public safe.”

The event will also give the public a chance to tour the Narwhal and meet the crew.

“It is a warship, that’s what they are, and you get a chance to see what the boat looks like and how the crew lives and meet the officers and crew,” Nelson said. “The search and rescue capability of a Coast Guard ship is absolutely phenomenal.”

The Ocean Institute is located 24200 Dana Point  Harbor Dr., Dana Point. More information about joining the Dana Point Flotilla of the Coast Guard Auxiliary can be found at the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary website.

Breeana Greenberg is the city reporter for the Dana Point Times. She graduated from Chapman University with a bachelor of arts degree in English. Before joining Picket Fence Media, she worked as a freelance reporter with the Laguna Beach Independent. Breeana can be reached by email at bgreenberg@picketfencemedia.com

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