By Charles Kocher
Pilot staff writer
A project to provide easy access to boater information at the Port of Brookings Harbor has been released, just in time for the limited coho salmon season.
The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla has developed a Port of Brookings Harbor Guide that it hopes will aid boaters and maybe save a life.
Printed on waterproof paper, the guide is designed to stay on the boat and provide a local chart, safety tips, boating regulations, community information, and radio procedures.
"I had the idea because all of this information was readily available in multiple publications but not in a simple format," said Flotilla member Ken Range. "This provides just some basic information that they can put on the boat."
Members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla developed the content, with review by the Coast Guard.
The printing costs were funded by grants from Oregon South Coast Fishermen and the Slam'n Salmon Ocean Derby. The Curry Coastal Pilot helped Range with the presentation of the material.
Range says he doesn't know of a similar local guide for any other port, though he believes the idea might be copied at Gold Beach.
The guide presents a combination of Coast Guard regulations, state boating rules, safety warnings, sources of weather information, and information specific to boaters heading out of the Port of Brookings Harbor.
"It's like the Coast Guard's new fog horn," said Range. "I'll bet 99 percent of the boaters don't know about it because it's so new."
The guide explains that the Chetco River Entrance Fog Signal can be activated by a boater within a half mile of it, by keying their microphone five times on VHF-FM Channel 79A. The fog signal will sound for 30 minutes.
A full page of the guide is devoted to a chart of the mouth of the Chetco River and the area offshore to the bell and whistle buoys.
The new guide is available at the port, the Coast Guard station, outdoor stores in the community, and the Curry Coastal Pilot.
Sunday's salmon opener will be "the first big push" with boaters from out of the area, Range said. "The auxiliary will be ensuring that these go out to everybody at the port," he said.
"We'll know in a month or so how useful it is," Range said. "Hopefully, it will reduce their risk, and maybe even save somebody's life out there."