By Amanda Foust
It’s that time of year when boats are taken out of storage and placed back into the water to be enjoyed all summer long. Yet many people have driven boats for years without taking the time to learn proper safety.
That’s where the Hoosier Sail and Power Squadron steps in. The nonprofit, formed in 1952 by the United States Power Squadron, exists to promote safe boating. Many of its members are from central Indiana, including executive officer David Drashil of Carmel and education officer Damon Davis of Zionsville.
Drashil has been a recreational boater for 25 years. As his experience grew, so did the size of his boats. He soon sought out an organization offering boat education so he could enjoy his hobby safely.
“After upgrading to a 24-foot boat, I knew I needed better education for my safety and the safety of others around me,” Drashil said.
He discovered the HSPS, a non-political, non-governmental organization that works closely with the U.S. Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxillary and Dept. of Natural Resources.
HSPS offers classroom instruction in person and online. They also lead seminars and social events for boaters. According to the HSPS website, they offer courses in boating, seamanship, piloting, weather, engine maintenance, sailing, cruise planning, navigation and advanced navigation.
“We are an organization for boaters, people who like to boat, who enjoy talking about boating, and who value the importance of safety on the water,” Drashil said.
The organization seeks to make safety fun by connecting boaters. In addition to classes and seminars, HPSP members make time for dinner, indoor raft parties and other social events.
“Safe boating is the most enjoyable way to boat for the individual and those they are sharing the water with,” Drashil said, “Safe is fun.”
For more, visit HoosierUSPS.org.
According to the Hoosier Sail and Power Squadron, the top five factors in boating accidents and death are:
1. Operator inattention
2. Improper lookout
3. Operator inexperience
4. Excessive speed
5. Machinery failure