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Coast Guard offers boating course.

The Fond du Lac Coast Guard Auxiliary will offer to the public its Boating Skills and Seamanship course beginning in March.The course satisfies the Wisconsin law requiring boaters born after Jan. 1, 1989, to complete a boat safety certification program.

The program will be presented on seven consecutive Mondays from 7 to 9 p.m. starting March 15 at the Fond du Lac Yacht Club, 705 Mohawk Ave.Trained instructors — members of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary — will present the classes using official Coast Guard training aids.

Hired guns secure ships, stir controversy.

As the world struggles to stop piracy in the waters off the coast of Africa and the Middle East, several companies have stepped forward to provide armed escort boats for commercial ships. Small, fast boats with a handful of armed mariners are an "emerging way to handle the [piracy] problem in a safe way," said Jim Jorrie, CEO of Espada Logistics and Security-MENA, a San Antonio-based company offering such services.

MMA training ship to visit European ports

Maine Maritime Academy students, officers and crew will visit ports in Europe this spring as part of the college's annual two-month training cruise, according to the itinerary released Monday. The State of Maine, the MMA training vessel, will travel to ports in Marseille, France; a bunker port call at Gibraltar; Kiel, Germany; and Portsmouth, England, before returning to the U.S.

for stops in Portland and Rockland on its way back to Castine.

Pinoy sailors fear job loss more than pirates' threat.