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What is the Auxiliary Paddlecraft (AUXPAD) Program?

COMDTINST 16794.11, Auxiliary Paddlecraft (AUXPAD) Program, announces the new AUXPAD Program and provides guidance for the development of regional AUXPAD programs when authorized by the District Commander.  Highlights of the program are as follows:

AUXPAD Mission and Program Components

1. Mission. The primary mission of the AUXPAD program is to extend boating safety outreach, promote life jacket wear, and promote operator compliance with Coast Guard required safety equipment within the paddle craft community.  Regional AUXPAD programs can be more stringent in the training and operational parameters detailed in this guidance. The AUXPAD program consists of Ashore and Afloat Outreach components.

2. AUXPAD Ashore Outreach. AUXPAD Ashore Outreach involves RBS activities targeted toward recreational paddle craft users.

a. AUXPAD Outreach Ashore may be executed by any Auxiliarist at a pier, dockside, convention center, store location, classroom or similar venue. Ashore activities consist of: classroom outreach and instruction, literature distribution, promotion of safety courses and materials, paddle craft vessel safety checks (VSC), and promotion at displays as authorized in the Memorandum of Agreement between the American Canoe Association and the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary of 29 January 2011,

b. Although highly recommended, Auxiliarists participating in AUXPAD Ashore Outreach activities are not required to be a qualified AUXPAD Afloat operator or an AUXPAD Qualifier (AQ).

c. Only Auxiliarists qualified as an Instructor (IT) are authorized to administer the NASBLA paddlesports America safety courses or the Coast Guard approved equivalent, to recreational paddle craft users as outlined in the NASBLA Paddlesports America Safety Course,

d. Only Auxiliarists who are qualified as Vessel Examiners (VE) are authorized to perform paddle craft vessel safety checks (VSC) in accordance with the Vessel Safety Check Manual, COMDTINST M16796.8 (series), currently available at:

e. Auxiliarists shall wear the authorized uniform of the day for AUXPAD Ashore Outreach activities, as prescribed by the Order Issuing Authority (OIA). The Auxiliary VE polo shirt is authorized.

3. AUXPAD Afloat Outreach. AUXPAD Afloat Outreach is an extension of ashore activities. AUXPAD Afloat Outreach activities places qualified AUXPAD operators in direct contact with recreational paddle craft users on the water. It promotes paddle craft RBS via personal example and affords an opportunity for Auxiliarists to assimilate with the paddle craft community and develop networks to promote boating safety.

a. AUXPAD Facility. Only kayak offers-for-use that are approved by the Director of Auxiliary (DIRAUX) may be utilized for AUXPAD Outreach Afloat activities.

(1) AUXPAD facilities shall only be non-inflatable, non-collapsible, one person kayaks. Canoes, stand up paddleboards, rafts, and any other watercraft primarily powered by oars, sweeps, or paddles are not authorized for use.

(2) AUXPAD facilities are required to complete the Facility Offer For Use Form (ANSC 7003) before being accepted for use.

(3) AUXPAD facilities are required to meet the carriage requirements identified in the VSC Manual and Paragraph 3.c. of COMDTINST 16794.11.

b. AUXPAD Operators.

(1) Only qualified AUXPAD operators may participate in AUXPAD Afloat Outreach activities. AUXPAD operators shall educate by example by appropriately carrying and operating the proper safety equipment required by federal and state laws for kayaks as well as following best practices common to the paddle craft community.

The entire AUXPAD instruction is available at:

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Updated 9 May 2017 by DIR-U to reflect new links to Auxiliary manuals. 

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