Boating Safety Experts

Boating Safety Experts

The Water Sports Foundation has researched and organized the following group of boating safety experts to provide professional resources and contacts for journalists seeking interviews/commentary.

Experts are organized by boating safety topic; click on name for contact information and brief bio. 

NOTE: If you are a marine industry boating safety expert and would like to be considered for inclusion on this experts panel, please email our WSF Communication Director Wanda Kenton Smith – Wanda@WaterSportsFoundation.com for application.


Boating Safety Experts by Category

General Power Boating/Boating Safety

  • Paul Barnard, Recreational Boating Safety Program Manager, US Coast Guard District 8, New Orleans, LA 
  • John Michael Malatak, Rear Commander, America’s Boating Club, Franklin, TN
  • Ethan Coble, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist, Fifth Coast Guard District, Portsmouth, VA 
  • Doug Leavell, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist, Coast Guard District Eleven, Alameda, CA
  • Jim Emmons, Executive Director, Water Sports Foundation, Orlando, FL
  • Chris Edmonston, President, BoatU.S.Foundation; VP Boat U.S. Government Affairs, Annapolis, MD
  • Gail R. Kulp, Executive Director, Sea Tow Foundation, Southold, NY
  • Kristen Frohnhoefer, President, Sea Tow Services International, Inc and Sea Tow Foundation, Southold, NY
  • Joseph Frohnhoefer III, CEO, Sea Tow Services, International, Inc.
  • Cindy McCaffery, VP of Program Development, Sea Tow Services International, Inc., Southold, NY

Human Propelled Safety: Paddlesports/Kayaking/Canoeing/Paddleboards

  • Robin Pope, Ph.D., Pa-C, Chair, Board of Directors – American Canoe Association, Sylva, NC 
  • Doug Leavell, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist, Coast Guard District Eleven, Alameda, CA
  • Paul Barnard, Recreational Boating Safety Program Manager, US Coast Guard District 8, New Orleans, LA 
  • Jim Emmons, Executive Director, Water Sports Foundation, Orlando, FL
  • Gail R. Kulp, Executive Director, Sea Tow Foundation, Southold, NY

Personal Water Craft Safety

  • Doug Leavell, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist, Coast Guard District Eleven, Alameda, CA
  • Gail R. Kulp, Executive Director, Sea Tow Foundation, Southold, NY
  • Chris Edmonston, President, BoatU.S.Foundation; VP BoatU.S.Government Affairs

Sailing Safety

  • Grant Headifen, Global Director of Education, NauticEd
  • Ethan Coble, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist, Fifth Coast Guard District, Portsmouth, VA 
  • Chris Edmonston, President, BoatU.S.Foundation; VP BoatU.S.Government Affairs

Life Jackets

  • Paul Barnard, Recreational Boating Safety Program Manager, US Coast Guard District 8, New Orleans, LA 
  • Gail R. Kulp, Executive Director, Sea Tow Foundation, Southold, NY
  • Kristen Frohnhoefer, President, Sea Tow Services International, Inc and Sea Tow Foundation, Southold, NY
  • Joseph Frohnhoefer III, CEO, Sea Tow Services, International, Inc.
  • Cindy McCaffery, VP of Program Development, Sea Tow Services International, Inc., Southold, NY
  • John Michael Malatak, Rear Commander, America’s Boating Club, Franklin, TN
  • Ethan Coble, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist, Fifth Coast Guard District, Portsmouth, VA 
  • Doug Leavell, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist, Coast Guard District Eleven, Alameda, CA
  • Chris Edmonston, President, BoatU.S.Foundation; VP BoatU.S.Government Affairs, Annapolis, MD
  • Jim Emmons, Executive Director, Water Sports Foundation, Orlando, FL

New Life Jacket Labels

  • Doug Leavell, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist, Coast Guard District Eleven, Alameda, CA
  • Paul Barnard, Recreational Boating Safety Program Manager, US Coast Guard District 8, New Orleans, LA 
  • Chris Edmonston, President, BoatU.S.Foundation; VP Boat U.S. Government Affairs, Annapolis, MD
  • Jim Emmons, Executive Director, Water Sports Foundation, Orlando, FL

Engine Cutoff Devices

  • Brian Goodwin, Technical Director, American Boat & Yacht Council, Annapolis, MD  
  • Doug Leavell, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist, Coast Guard District Eleven, Alameda, CA
  • Paul Barnard, Recreational Boating Safety Program Manager, US Coast Guard District 8, New Orleans, LA 
  • Jim Emmons, Executive Director Water Sports Foundation, Orlando, FL
  • Chris Edmonston, President, BoatU.S.Foundation; VP BoatU.S.Government Affairs, Annapolis, MD
  • Gail R. Kulp, Executive Director, Sea Tow Foundation, Southold, NY

Boating Under the Influence

  • John Michael Malatak, Rear Commander, America’s Boating Club, Franklin, TN
  • Chris Edmonston, President, BoatU.S.Foundation; VP BoatU.S.Government Affairs, Annapolis, MD
  • Doug Leavell, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist, Coast Guard District Eleven, Alameda, CA
  • Paul Barnard, Recreational Boating Safety Program Manager, US Coast Guard District 8, New Orleans, LA 
  • Gail R. Kulp, Executive Director, Sea Tow Foundation, Southold, NY
  • Jim Emmons, Executive Director, Water Sports Foundation, Orlando, FL
  • Kristen Frohnhoefer, President, Sea Tow Services International, Inc and Sea Tow Foundation, Southold, NY
  • Joseph Frohnhoefer III, CEO, Sea Tow Services, International, Inc., Southold, NY

Understanding Changing Weather Conditions

  • John Michael Malatak, Rear Commander, America’s Boating Club, Franklin, TN
  • Ethan Coble, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist, Fifth Coast Guard District, Portsmouth, VA 
  • Gail R. Kulp, Executive Director, Sea Tow Foundation, Southold, NY
  • Kristen Frohnhoefer, President, Sea Tow Services International, Inc and Sea Tow Foundation, Southold, NY
  • Joseph Frohnhoefer III, CEO, Sea Tow Services, International, Inc., Southold, NY
  • Chris Edmonston, President, BoatU.S.Foundation; VP BoatU.S.Government Affairs, Annapolis, MD

Carriage Requirements

  • Paul Barnard, Recreational Boating Safety Program Manager, US Coast Guard District 8, New Orleans, LA 
  • John Michael Malatak, Rear Commander, America’s Boating Club, Franklin, TN
  • Doug Leavell, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist, Coast Guard District Eleven, Alameda, CA
  • Chris Edmonston, President, BoatU.S.Foundation; VP BoatU.S.Government Affairs, Annapolis, MD
  • Gail R. Kulp, Executive Director, Sea Tow Foundation, Southold, NY
  • Kristen Frohnhoefer, President, Sea Tow Services International, Inc and Sea Tow Foundation, Southold, NY

Boater Education

  • Paul Barnard, Recreational Boating Safety Program Manager, US Coast Guard District 8, New Orleans, LA 
  • John Michael Malatak, Rear Commander, America’s Boating Club
  • Ethan Coble, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist, Fifth Coast Guard District, Portsmouth, VA 
  • Doug Leavell, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist, Coast Guard District Eleven, Alameda, CA
  • Dean Aucoin II, LT/Boating Education Coordinator, Louisiana Department of Wildlife  Fisheries Enforcement, Baton Rouge, LA
  • Chris Edmonston, President, BoatU.S.Foundation; VP BoatU.S.Government Affairs, Annapolis, MD
  • Gail R. Kulp, Executive Director, Sea Tow Foundation, Southold, NY
  • Kristen Frohnhoefer, President, Sea Tow Services International, Inc and Sea Tow Foundation, Southold, NY
  • Joseph Frohnhoefer III, CEO, Sea Tow Services, International, Inc., Southold, NY
  • Cindy McCaffery, VP of Program Development, Sea Tow Services International, Inc., Southold, NY

Dangers of Cold Water Immersion

  • Chris Edmonston, President, BoatU.S.Foundation; VP BoatU.S.Government Affairs, Annapolis, MD
  • Doug Leavell, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist, Coast Guard District Eleven, Alameda, CA
  • Robin Pope, Ph.D., Pa-C, Chair, Board of Directors – American Canoe Association, Sylva, NC 
  • Gail R. Kulp, Executive Director, Sea Tow Foundation, Southold, NY

Navigation

  • Paul Barnard, Recreational Boating Safety Program Manager, US Coast Guard District 8, New Orleans, LA 
  • John Michael Malatak, Rear Commander, America’s Boating Club, Franklin, TN
  • Ethan Coble, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist, Fifth Coast Guard District, Portsmouth, VA 
  • Joseph Frohnhoefer III, CEO, Sea Tow Services, International, Inc., Southold, NY
  • Gail R. Kulp, Executive Director, Sea Tow Foundation, Southold, NY
  • Kristen Frohnhoefer, President, Sea Tow Services International, Inc and Sea Tow Foundation, Southold, NY
  • Chris Edmonston, President, BoatU.S.Foundation; VP BoatU.S.Government Affairs, Annapolis, MD

Rules of the Road

  • Paul Barnard, Recreational Boating Safety Program Manager, US Coast Guard District 8, New Orleans, LA 
  • Ethan Coble, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist, Fifth Coast Guard District, Portsmouth, VA 
  • Doug Leavell, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist, Coast Guard District Eleven, Alameda, CA
  • Dean Aucoin II, LT/Boating Education Coordinator, Louisiana Department of Wildlife  Fisheries Enforcement, Baton Rouge, LA  
  • Chris Edmonston, President, BoatU.S.Foundation; VP BoatU.S.Government Affairs, Annapolis, MD
  • Gail R. Kulp, Executive Director, Sea Tow Foundation, Southold, NY

Visual Distress Devices

  • Paul Barnard, Recreational Boating Safety Program Manager, US Coast Guard District 8, New Orleans, LA 
  • Ethan Coble, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist, Fifth Coast Guard District, Portsmouth, VA 
  • Doug Leavell, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist, Coast Guard District Eleven, Alameda, CA
  • Joseph Frohnhoefer III, CEO, Sea Tow Services, International, Inc., Southold, NY
  • Gail R. Kulp, Executive Director, Sea Tow Foundation, Southold, NY
  • Kristen Frohnhoefer, President, Sea Tow Services International, Inc and Sea Tow Foundation, Southold, NY
  • Chris Edmonston, President, BoatU.S.Foundation; VP BoatU.S.Government Affairs, Annapolis, MD

Search and Rescue

  • Paul Barnard, Recreational Boating Safety Program Manager, US Coast Guard District 8, New Orleans, LA 
  • Ethan Coble, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist, Fifth Coast Guard District, Portsmouth, VA 
  • Doug Leavell, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist, Coast Guard District Eleven, Alameda, CA

Swift Moving Water

  • Robin Pope, Ph.D., Pa-C, Chair, Board of Directors – American Canoe Association, Sylva, NC 
  • Gail R. Kulp, Executive Director, Sea Tow Foundation, Southold, NY

Carbon Monoxide Dangers

  • Brian Goodwin, Technical Director, American Boat & Yacht Council, Annapolis, MD  
  • Chris Edmonston, President, BoatU.S.Foundation; VP BoatU.S.Government Affairs, Annapolis, MD
  • Gail R. Kulp, Executive Director, Sea Tow Foundation, Southold, NY

Rental Boat Safety

  • Gail R. Kulp, Executive Director, Sea Tow Foundation, Southold, NY
  • Chris Edmonston, President, BoatU.S.Foundation; VP BoatU.S. Government Affairs, Annapolis, MD

Operators of Uninspected Passenger Vessels Licensing


Causes and Prevention of Boat Fires

  • Brian Goodwin, Technical Director, American Boat & Yacht Council, Annapolis, MD  

Electric Shock Drowning

  • Brian Goodwin, Technical Director, American Boat & Yacht Council, Annapolis, MD  

Recreational Boating Industry Statistics

  • Jack Ellis, Managing Director, Info-Link, Miami, FL 

Additional Boat Safety Topics & U.S. Coast Guard Office of Boating Safety Contacts

U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Division

The U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Division (CG-BSX-2) is dedicated to reducing loss of life, injuries and property damage that occurs on U.S. Waterways by improving the knowledge, skill and abilities of recreational boaters. Please visit www.USCGboating.org   

Members of the media can find out more information by contacting their nearest Coast Guard public affairs office: https://www.news.uscg.mil/News_Region/ 

Commandant (CG-BSX-2)
U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters
2703 Martin Luther King, JR Ave SE
Stop 7501
Washington, DC 20593-7501
202-372-1062


Marine Industry Boating Safety Experts

Contact Information & Bios

  • Brian Goodwin
    As the Technical Director at the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC), Mr. Goodwin is responsible for the managing the review and publication of over 70 standards. He also ensures the execution of numerous grants awarded to the ABYC Technical Department.
  • Captain Joseph Frohnhoefer III
    Captain Joe Frohnhoefer III virtually grew up on a boat. His experience ranges from being one of the first Sea Tow deckhands, to Sea Tow Captain after earning his first captain’s license at the age of 18, to currently holding a 1600 Ton Master, Chief Mate – All Oceans, All Seas license.
  • Chris Edmonston
    Chris Edmonston is a lifelong boater who brings more than 30 years of experience in the marine industry, with 20+ years specializing in boating safety issues and concerns. Besides his role of president of the BoatU.S. Foundation, he also serves as vice president of government affairs for BoatU.S.
  • Cindy McCaffery
    As the Vice President of Program Development for Sea Tow Services International, Cindy’s responsibilities include coordination of Sea Tow’s training programs, boat shows and events. She and her team manage multiple Sea Tow programs for dealers, manufacturers, retailers and service providers.
  • Dean Aucoin II
    LT. Dean Aucoin II is a Boating Education Coordinator with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division, a post he has held since August 2005. He serves as Boating Education Coordinator for Louisiana and instructs on multiple platforms and courses, including teaching new trainees in the enforcement division academy.
  • Doug Leavell
    Doug Leavell is Recreational Boating Safety Specialist, Coast Guard District 11 in Alameda, CA, a post he began in January 2020. A 30-year veteran of the United States Coast Guard, he retired as a Chief Warrant Officer 4 in 2019.
  • Ethan J. Coble
    Ethan Coble is USN Retired and Merchant Mariner Credential as2nd Mate Unlimited. He has enjoyed an extensive, 20-year career with the US Navy in senior enlisted leadership overseeing navigation, shipping, operations, force protection and project management.
  • Gail R. Kulp
    Gail R. Kulp is the Executive Director of national, non-profit organization, Sea Tow Foundation, headquartered in Southold, NY. With over 16 years of non-profit experience, 13 of which are within the boating industry, Gail is well-versed in all things boating safety.
  • Grant Headifen
    Grant Headifen is the Global Director of Education for NauticEd, a state-of-the-art sailing education organization featuring an e-learning theory curriculum for sailing knowledge and a practical on-the-water skills training program through a global network of instructors.
  • Jack Ellis
    Jack Ellis is Managing Director of Info-Link, a Miami, FL-based firm he founded in 1995 to provide market intelligence to clients in the recreational boating industry.
  • Jim Emmons
    Jim Emmons is executive director of the non-profit Water Sports Foundation (WSF) and is a long-term recreational boating safety activist and enthusiast. He is serving in his second term on the United States Coast Guard’s National Boating Safety Advisory Council and currently serves as chairman. He also serves on NASBLA’s Paddlesports Committee and the national Sober Skipper Advisory Council.
  • John Malatak
    John Malatak is currently the past rear commander of America’s Boating Club and is a recognized expert on boating safety. He previously served as Chief, Program Operations for the Department of Homeland Security/United States Coast Guard, Boating Safety Division, Washington, DC.
  • Kristin Frohnhoefer
    Kristen Frohnhoefer is president of Sea Tow International and is responsible for overseeing all internal operations, including the company’s membership and sales programs, marketing, communications, the Customer Care Center and technology efforts.
  • Paul Barnard
    Paul Barnard is the Recreational Boating Safety Program Manager of US Coast Guard District 8, based in New Orleans, LA. He has 34 years of Coast Guard experience serving as Rescue Boat Coxswain, Federal Law Enforcement Officer, SAR Coordinator, Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Program Manager, and Recreational Boating Safety Program Manager.
  • Robin Pope, Ph.D., PA-C, FAWM
    Robin Pope has more than three decades experience in boating education. He is an instructor, trainer and educator for the American Canoe Association in whitewater, kayaking and swiftwater rescue. He’s served in numerous ACA leadership roles, including chair of its Safety Education and Instruction Council and, currently, chair of ACA’s Board.
  • U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Division
    The U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Division (CG-BSX-2) is dedicated to reducing loss of life, injuries and property damage that occurs on U.S. Waterways by improving the knowledge, skill and abilities of recreational boaters.