West Marine and United States Power Squadrons Team Up for Boating Safety

West Marine, the nation's largest specialty retailer of boating supplies and apparel, today announced that it will provide a new boating safety video on a loan basis to its customers at stores nationwide.

Watsonville, Calif. (October 7, 2004) - West Marine, the nation's largest specialty retailer of boating supplies and apparel, today announced that it will provide a new boating safety video on a loan basis to its customers at stores nationwide.

In partnership with the United States Power Squadrons, West Marine has distributed more than 2,000 boating safety videos to its 365 stores nationwide.  Beginning today, the videos are available for loan to customers through West Marine's new video lending program.  The video, titled "Your Guide to Safety Equipment," was produced by the U.S. Power Squadrons and funded by a grant from the Aquatic Resources (Wallop-Breaux) Trust Fund, which is administered by the United States Coast Guard.

"We're pleased to offer West Marine customers and boating enthusiasts the opportunity to view this important boating safety video now available through our video loaner program.  We hope boaters of all experience levels will utilize this free resource and brush up on boating safety by borrowing and viewing the video," says John Edmondson, chief executive officer, West Marine.

The 45-minute video includes compelling visual demonstrations and comprehensive information on the Coast Guard mandated equipment that boaters need to have on-board for compliance as well as other items that the U.S. Power Squadrons recommend for maximum safety.  The video package also includes a $10 West Marine gift coupon for use toward purchases of $50 or more at any store location.

"The U.S. Power Squadrons feel it's important to educate the boating public on the proper items to have on board their vessels for Coast Guard compliance and for safe boating," says Les Johnson, U.S. Power Squadrons chief commander.  The U.S. Power Squadrons wrote the grant and served as project manager for the project.

In addition to the video, the U.S. Power Squadrons also offer courtesy vessel safety checks to verify the presence and condition of safety equipment required by State and Federal boating regulations.  The vessel examiners are trained specialists and members of the U.S. Power Squadrons or U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.  The vessel safety checks are an evaluation and education opportunity only and will not result in citations, but rather provide boaters with an opportunity to check compliance and make positive safety adjustments.

ABOUT THE UNITED STATES POWER SQUADRONS
Organized in 1914, U.S. Power Squadrons is a non profit, boating education organization dedicated to making boating safer and more enjoyable by teaching classes in seamanship, navigation and related subjects.  U.S. Power Squadrons members are boating families who contribute to their communities by promoting safe boating through education.  U.S. Power Squadrons members enjoy participating with fellow members on the water and in the classroom. U.S. Power Squadrons have some 60,000 members organized into 450 squadrons across the country and in some U.S. territories.  U.S. Power Squadrons is the world's largest non-profit boating organization and has been honored by four U.S. presidents for its civic contributions to the nation and boating public since it was formed in 1914.  Local squadrons offer public boating classes twice yearly throughout the nation.  For information, call toll-free 1-888-FOR-USPS or visit the U.S. Power Squadrons' Web site at USPS.org.

ABOUT WEST MARINE
West Marine, Inc. is the nation's largest specialty retailer of boating supplies and apparel, with 365 stores in 38 states, Canada and Puerto Rico, and more than $660 million in annual sales. The Company's successful catalog and Internet channels offer customers approximately 50,000 products - far more than any competitor - and the convenience of being able to exchange catalog and Internet purchases at its retail stores.  The Company's Port Supply division is the country's largest wholesale distributor of marine equipment serving boat manufacturers, marine services, commercial vessel operators and government agencies.  For more information on West Marine's products and store locations, or to start shopping, visit westmarine.com or call 1-800-BOATING (1-800-262-8464).