There’s an expert from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary that’s teaching Arizona kids about boating safety. That expert knows a thing or two about water because, well, he’s a talking tugboat!
His name is Coastie and Albert Moreta gives him a voice.
“Coastie is a fun-loving remote-controlled boat that the Coast Guard Auxiliary uses to entice the children to come and learn about water safety,” Moreta said. “If they’re under 13, they have to have a life jacket on all the time on the boat and if they’re within ten feet of the shoreline, they should also have a life jacket on.”
Drowning accounts for about 70 percent of boating deaths each year and 85 percent of the victims were not wearing life jackets, according to the Coast Guard.
For kids, that kind of information can be difficult to sink in, but now with Coastie helping get the word out about drowning prevention, kids are onboard.
“It’s not like an adult telling you not to do something, it’s a boat," Moreta said. "A fun little boat."
Coastie leads the nation as the No. 1 youth boating and water safety education program, according to the Coast Guard.