Coast Guard Auxiliary to Teach Small Boat Handling Course to Port Authority Police

Jamaica, NY -- Members of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary under the auspices of CDR Elizabeth Young, the Director of Auxiliary for the First Coast Guard District, Southern Region will participate in the fourth 10 day training session for the Officers of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department (PAPD), starting 11 June 2007.The Small Boat Handling Course for Local Law Enforcement (SCLLE), was created by the Wayne Spivak, an Auxiliarist on the Staff of the Director of Auxiliary, and then honed by the efforts of Auxiliarist Hal Marschall and the members of the instructor cadre over the last three es. The course is specially tailored, combining elements of the U.S. Coast Guard Seamanship Manual, the Coast Guard Auxiliary Boating Safely and Basic Coastal Navigation texts. It blends those skill sets that are required of Coast Guard and Auxiliary Boat Forces, both on the crew and coxswain level.The Port Authority Police Department is responsible for airports, port facilities, the PATH rail system, bus terminals, tunnels and bridges, and other facilities owned or operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. This year, the number of students who are attending the SBCLLE has been increased by 75%. The course will again take place at the PAPD training center, located at John F. Kennedy Airport. On-the-water training will take place in the surrounding waters of the airport, specifically Jamaica Bay and into the Atlantic Ocean. Combining the skills and experiences of over fifty members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, with an aggregate of over 1,000 years of experience, these volunteers have re-arranged their lives, taken vacation and personal days off from their jobs and even offered use their boats, and their radios to educate the officers of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in navigation and boat handling.Auxiliarists volunteer to serve as Instructors or Radio Watchstanders, Boat Crew or Coxswains. Regardless of their position, they all are members of the teaching cadre that over the last three es have taught 50 students. Over 120 Auxiliarists have been or will be involved in the SBCLLE.Asked about his participation, Auxiliarist Hal Marschall, who is again returning as the SBCLLE Deputy Chief Instructor, said “This course enables both the Auxiliary and the Coast Guard to build better working relationships with our partners in Maritime Domain Awareness. ”The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed civilian volunteer component of the Coast Guard, operating both their own vessels and on Coast Guard assets in all missions of the Coast Guard except military and direct law enforcement. The Auxiliary, which was created by Congress in 1941 currently, has over 27,000 members. Membership is open to US Citizens 17 years of age or older who must also pass a Personal Security Investigation.The Small Boat Handling Course concept was born when Inspector Kenneth Honig, then the Commanding Officer of the Port Authority Police JFK Command and currently the Commanding Officer of the La Guardia Airport Command, approached Coast Guard Auxiliarist Wayne Spivak, seeking assistance in finding suitable trainers for his men in small boat handling. Given the unique aspect of the mission, Spivak added a modified swim test, which is a cross between the Auxiliary Boat Crew Training Requirement and the Auxiliary Aviation Training Requirement. The students not only need to know how to don and wear Personal Flotation Devices (PFD’s) and Cold Weather Exposure Suits, but how to get into an aviation life raft.Also added is a course segment that allows students the ability to actually throw a life raft off a vessel and inflate the raft at the same time. These hands-on drills provide the Police Officers with the knowledge of how the raft behaves as it inflates and how to instruct people to enter the rafts. All rafts that are used during this drill are slated for their periodic inspection, so the PAPD is able to save the added costs on repacking and recertifying the life rafts – since the expired rafts would have to be inflated and then repacked anyway.When Spivak was asked which groups of Auxiliarists were most important to making this course a success, he answered, “The Instructors are - remember this is an educational course; but then again, so are the Radio Watchstanders who free up the Active Duty Watchstanders at Station New York. Then again the Boat Owners are important, but if the Boat Owner is not also a Coxswain, then the Coxswain is equally as important because an Auxiliary Facility can not operate without a Coxswain. But then again, the Boat Crew members are also important, for without Boat Crew, none of these Facilities with the their Coxswains can move away from the dock, since Coast Guard regulations stipulate how many crew members are required on each boat. So, in the final analysis, it is truly a TEAM effort, and without our students, and the Port Authority Police Department, we don’t have a course, period.”