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Open letter to those who feel abused by the USCG

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I have watched with amazement the many posts on this as well as other websites about the USCG cracking down on illegal commercial operators to force compliance with the law. It seems that many feel the commercial operators who are operating illegally and without insurance are somehow getting the short end of the stick. I do not think that anything could be farther from the truth. To think that the CG will somehow profit from collecting a few hundred dollars from up to a few hundred guides in MN is simply not logical. That is like saying that the state troopers enforce DWI laws simply to collect money.

The USCG has a long and proud tradition of protecting our waterways, vessels, and mariners. Should you ever find yourself in a dangerous or life threatening situation in an area that the USCG has a presence you will find that these brave men and women will come your aid day or night in any weather. They will quite simply put their lives on the line if neccessary in order to save yours whether caused by accident or stupidity.

It is easy to lay blame yet can be hard to accept responsibility for our actions sometimes. Any guide who is being shut down due his or her ignorance or diregard of the law simply has no one to blame but themselves. They also need to realize that the failure to comply with the law renders them uninsured and leaves the clients, themselves and their families at risk for financial ruin in the unfortunate event of an accident.

Many are quick bash the USCG and I have yet to see anyone point out the selfless service the the USCG is willing to provide on a moments notice 24/7/365, anywhere, in any weather. For those of us who like to think ourselves tough picture the USCG rescue swimmer who will jump 50 ft out of a helicopter into ice cold 30 ft seas in the dark of night during massive storms to save the lives of boaters in peril.

If you ever find yourself in the cold dark water as your vessel sinks out from under you, the sweetest sound you have ever heard will be the low drone of that USCG C-130 coming to locate your position for the rescue helicopter.

Get real, get licensed, and pray you never need to have the USCG do a search or a recovery of you or those that you care about.

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