About Boating Safely

Learn from the best—the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary (USCGAUX) is the uniformed, civilian volunteer arm of the United States Coast Guard—30,000 men and women who donate their time and expertise to support the Coast Guard and improve boating safety. Auxiliarists are probably best known for educating the public through their safe boating classes and Vessel Safety Checks. Yet they have done much more, and their responsibilities continue to grow since passage of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1996. The Authorization Act assigns the Auxiliary the role of assisting the Coast Guard in performance of any Coast Guard function, duty, role, mission, or operation authorized by law.

Today, the volunteer men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary are active on the waterways and classrooms in over 2,000 cities and towns across the nation. Each year, Auxiliarists (folks just like you) save almost 500 lives, assist some 15,000 recreational vessels, and teach over 6,000 boating courses.

Safe Boating Courses Offered by the Auxiliary

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary courses provide instruction to boaters at all levels, from the fundamental to the advanced. The boating safety courses are taught by experienced and knowledgeable instructors committed to the highest standards of the U.S. Coast Guard. To find a class, visit the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Class Finder link and follow the instructions. Basic classes will prepare you to take a safe boater exam, in order to obtain a boating safety certificate or licence.

Another way to locate classes is to connect with Auxiliarists in your area. The Auxiliary is essentially a local organization. The local area is where the action is, so you need to "hook up" with a local member and Flotilla.

  • If you know a local member, just give them a call. They would be happy to invite you to a meeting where you can find ALL of the answers!
  • Or, you can call 1-877-875-6296 and leave a message. A local member will get right back to you.
  • You can also click on the Flotilla Finder and follow the directions. You can either make contact with a local Flotilla yourself or leave a contact number for a return call to you.

Read more about the boat safety courses adopted by the U.S. Coat Guard Auxiliary!