Tom Rau is an expert on boating safety who served 27 years in the Coast Guard (California and Lake Michigan). He retired in 2002 as a senior chief, responsible for the auxiliary substation at South Haven, Mich. He has participated in about 500 search-and-rescue missions.
A Florida boatbuilder - with financial support from singer Jimmy Buffett - will build at least four flats boats modified to rescue wildlife from oil-soaked marshes along the Gulf Coast.
It's easy to take the accuracy of nautical charts - paper or electronic - for granted year after year. After all, boaters' home waters are their waters and they're familiar with the shallows, hazards and tricky spots.
Page 71 of 103