Harbormaster Helps Out USCG Auxiliary Safety Inspections

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A Newport Beach staff member drives one of the city’s low-wake catamaran coaches in Newport Harbor recently.
— Courtesy the city of Newport Beach ©

Teamwork between Newport Harbor mooring permitees, Newport Beach Harbormaster department, and the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary for vessel safety inspections is off to a positive start

City harbormaster staff is helping the USCG Auxiliary team conduct their free vessel safety inspections by ferrying them to the mooring of the boat owner (who has previously signed up and scheduled a time on an pre-planned day). Usually the vessel owner has to head into the USCG dock for the check.

“We’re basically being the taxi, to deliver them to the (mooring),” said Harbormaster Dennis Durgan on Wednesday. “It’s wonderful that the Coast Guard Auxiliary is there to do these free inspections.”

At the Oct. 25 Newport Mooring Association meeting, a list of interested boat owners filled up quickly for the four scheduled days.

They had their first inspection on Saturday, Durgan confirmed in an email this week.

“All went great,” he noted. “We have three more weekend days of this trail and look forward to helping.”

Durgan ferried Coast Guard Auxiliary staff out to the scheduled moorings twice on Saturday and other staff did a couple other runs, he said Wednesday. About three or four inspections are planned for each designated Saturday. In total, a handful of inspections will be done during the trial period.

It takes about a half hour for each inspection, on average, Durgan explained.

“We’re basically going to back up what the Coast Guard Auxiliary does in their inspections,” he said. “Make sure everything is operational on the boat.”

It’s a win-win-win, he added. The boat owner gets a free check-up, Coast Guard Auxiliary gets a ride to do their safety inspection, and the city can keep up to date with the vessels in the harbor.

“So then we know everybody is up to code in the mooring fields,” Durgan said.

It depends on the USCG schedule and when they plan the inspections, but, if the trial period is successful, the Harbormaster department will try to help as needed. The busy summer months may not work out, Durgan added.

“We’re going to try and help when we can,” Durgan said. “We’re hopeful.”

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