(L-R) Flotilla Commanders Renato Akerman, Edward Borgwardt, Grant Graves, Mayor Gleam Davis, George Higgins FSO-SR and Flotilla Commander Rick Horner Credit: Scott Snowden


With increased activity in boat use up and down the coastline, invariably there is a simultaneous increase in accidents, which is why Safe Boating Week is so important

On Tuesday morning, on the steps of City Hall, under the gray skies and drizzle, Mayor Gleam Davis delivered a City proclamation to the Coast Guard Auxiliary declaring May 20-26 as Safe Boating Week.

Proposed by the members of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, Los Angeles Flotilla 12-04, the proclamation acts as a reminder to all members of the boating public to use safe maritime practices, operate with due care and consideration, become better educated, care for their passengers and to always wear a lifejacket.

“We are so grateful for everything that the Coast Guard Auxiliary does in keeping people safe on the water for a coastal town,” Davis says. “We have a lot of people in this town who spend a lot of time in the ocean and we want to make sure that they’re safe as much as possible and these are the folks who make it possible.

“But I also think what’s important is that we acknowledge Safe Boating Week because it’s an opportunity to educate people about safe boating practices and habits and hopefully, they’ll take them to heart,” Davis added.

According to the Coast Guard Auxiliary, boat ownership and activities has increased by over 25 percent in Los Angeles County over the last three years. Sadly, accidents and fatalities have increased by almost the same amount. US Coast Guard statistics show that drowning was the reported cause of death in four out of every five recreational boating fatalities in 2020, and 86 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets.

“The City of Santa Monica is a valued partner in our main mission, which is recreational boating safety. The pandemic saw a huge jump in fatalities and accidents because of a huge jump in vessel use because it was safe out there,” Grant Graves, Flotilla Commander of 12-04 says.

“Our mission is to make that process safer. And this is very important because it brings desperate recognition to the mission of making recreational boating more safe. So everybody should wear a lifejacket, take a course to make sure the boat’s working well and to make sure everybody on the boat is kept safe.”

The US Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 12-04 will be hosting a virtual Boat America course during Safe Boating Week. The course qualifies graduates for the California Boater Card. For more information about the course, type rb.gy/j2369 into the address bar of your web browser and sign up. The Auxiliary will also be present and participating in Fleet Week, May 26–29.


Scott fell in love with Santa Monica when he was much younger and now, after living and working in five different countries, he has returned. He's written for the likes of the FT, NBC, the BBC and CNN.