"It's Still the Life Jackets (or lack of there of)" Note I started with Stupid.
Information was recently provided by the NC Wildlife Commission about boating fatalities in 2018. The bottom line number is striking! "A total of 35 people lost their lives due to boating accidents last year, the highest number of vessel-related fatalities since 1990. Twenty-nine of the victims were not wearing a life vest", according to NC Wildlife.
While we think awareness is up, it would seem too many believe it can't happen. As manufacturers work to make life jackets more wearable and look jazzy, someone near the water still needs to pick it up and wear it. We all know the time to put a life jacket on is not when you are in the water.
So what to do. It's got to be a rule and if you are the skipper of your boat, walk the talk and practice what you preach.
Some good rules to live by and remember include:
Please be careful out there.
Lake Gaston Water Safety Council
Meeting Scheduled for Wednesday June 26, 2019
The Lake Gaston Water Safety Council monthly membership meeting will be held Wednesday June 26, 2019 at the Kennon House Restaurant in Gasburg, Virginia. The meeting begins at 6PM, starting with a dutch-treat dinner. Ed Burke of the U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 93 (Lake Gaston) will be the guest speaker.
Children's PFD Life Jacket Loaner Program
Are Your Children Safe on the Waters of Lake Gaston?
Water safety is extremely important - especially when it comes to our children. Lake Gaston property owners often have visits from friends and family, only to find they don't have enough or the right size life jackets to accommodate all. Thus the Children's PFD Life Jacket Loaner Program on Lake Gaston.
On a vessel that is underway (i.e. the vessel is not at anchor, nor tied to shore, nor is the vessel aground), children under 13 years of age must wear an appropriate U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket unless they are 1) below deck, or 2) within an enclosed cabin.
Boating Safety Inspections and BLUE LIGHT LAW:
According to the USCG, over 100 boardings were conducted for safety inspections over the Holiday Weekend. The most common violation the Coast Guard encountered was no registration card on board. Do you know where yours is located?
Several boaters were found to have FE and/or throwables that would not pass safety inspection. They were given replacements by USCG with LGWSC signage with each device that so the boater understood it came from the water safety council.
We were asked to remind all boaters of the BLUE LIGHT LAW:
When passing a law enforcement vessel that has stopped another boat, you must be at NO Wake if within 100ft. You are responsible for your boat's wake which causes damage to the law enforcement vessel or the stopped vessel.
New Board of Directors: Your new board of directors has already met. They are pursuing some ideas to further promote the LGWSC around the lake. Maybe a newsletter for members? Stay tuned... If you would like to write an article about a water safety related topic please contact us.
Every year Lake Gaston has multiple boating accidents
Every year Lake Gaston has multiple boating accidents, some resulting in serious injury or death. Even just one accident is too many. If we could cure stupidity most of these would not occur. Jet skis are fun, fast and dangerous. We have one. North Carolina, as you know, does have a "no wake" law for jet skis = No wake within 100 feet of a boat house, dock, or swimmer in the water. The distance between my boat house and the boathouse across from me is about 170 feet. That means, by law, our cove is a no jet ski wake area from my boathouse to the end of the cove. Over the years I've probably seen more adults ignore this law than kids.
Now, will NC Wildlife be back in our cove enforcing this? Probably not, as they're spread too thin, unless somebody files a complaint to them. The Virginia no wake law is 50 feet for both jet skis and all power boats.
Wake boats are a growing concern all over the country. So far North Carolina has refrained from putting any restrictions on wake boats. In Virginia there is a 150 foot restriction in the legislature, but it has been "tabled" for a year. Pennsylvania and Maryland already have imposed 200 feet restriction on wake boats. Eventually NC will do something. There's a lot of growing sentiment against discourteous wake boat operators. Be thoughtful out there.
The Lake Gaston Water Safety Council is a worthy organization to support. Family memberships are only $10/year. Check out their website: www.lakegastonwatersafetycouncil.org The local U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 93, will come out and give a free safety inspection for your watercraft. They also conduct boating education classes. Their website is: http://wow.uscgaux.info/content.php?unit=054-09-03
The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission also conducts on-line or instructor-lead boating safety classes. Their website is: www.ncwildlife.org. You learn more with instructor-led courses. Have a safe and fun boating season.
By Jim Nold, Director Lake Gaston Water Safety Council
How We Came To Be...
The Lake Gaston Water Safety Council was formed on February 22, 1989. We are thankful for Joe Peterson, formerly with what is now known as Dominion Energy, for envisioning the need back in 1988 to organize a group of interested persons who lived on the lake to solely focus on safety on the water. Much has happened over the last 20 plus years.
As the years passed and more people started to use the lake, boating and boating related accidents became more frequent. Boating safety and training were the initial offerings of the WSC. In 1991, the US Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 93 was chartered.
Several near electrocutions relating to improperly installed boat lifts resulted in the WSC developing recommendations for proper grounding and the use of ground-fault receptacles. Through it all the WSC has evolved and enjoys excellent working relations with Dominion Energy, local officers of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and the Virginia Game and Inland fisheries. In addition, we partner with key business and organizational stakeholders around the lake.
You will read elsewhere on our web site information about training presented by Flotilla 93, our life jacket loaner program, information about our Safety Trailer, why we now have hazard and navigational buoys (there are over 32) and the mile markers which cover the lake from the dam to 34 miles to the western edge. The need to think about safety never stops and we have much more to do.
We would love to have you join the Water Safety Council so you too can boat and play safely at Lake Gaston. Memberships are $5.00 per person - $10.00 per family, and$10.00 per Business.
Your membership helps to support the many water safety activities carried on by the Lake Gaston Water Safety Council. Annual dues help to support our Water Safety Trailer, the exchange program, and the Children's PFD (Life Jacket) loaner program along with many other activities in the lake area.
Please consider supporting the LGWSC to keep Lake Gaston waters safe!
Every little bit counts...
Donations to LGWSC are tax-deductible to the fullest as we are a 501(c)(3) organization.
Lake Gaston Water Safety Council
PO Box 207
Henrico, NC 27842
The Lake Gaston Water Safety Council (LGWSC), is a non-profit 501(c)(3), public service organization serving the boating public throughout the North Carolina and Virginia areas surrounding Lake Gaston.
Some situations require us to attend legislative hearings, where we consult with sponsoring lawmakers. During those sessions we provide input to area representatives regarding safety issues in and around Lake Gaston.
We take pride in our programs and achievements that keep boaters and their passengers safe while cruising the waters of Lake Gaston. ...Review 2018 Achievements
The LGWSC actively promotes participation in Boating Safety Education courses. ...Find Out More
We operate a mobile Safety Trailer at special events in the Lake Gaston area. ...Find Out More
We put in-place a free "Children's PFD (Life Jacket) loaner program" for child safety. ...Find Out More
We provide 'Safe Boating Tips' on subjects such as navigation, cleaning boats, etc. ...Find Out More
Our monthly meetings feature presentations on boating safety issues. ...Find Out More
During the general boating season each year, the Lake Gaston Water Safety Council (LGWSC), as a public outreach service, operates a colorful informational Safety Trailer staffed by its members to provide a wide range of informational literature concerning boating laws and regulations.
It is important to be familiar with Lake Gaston Accident Reporting procedures and to know how to report boating violations. We provide this information in addition to how to use 911 while boating; cell phone restrictions; how to report missing or damaged buoys; and law enforcement contact numbers.
Water safety on Lake Gaston is extremely important - especially when it comes to our children. Lake Gaston property owners often have visits from friends and family, only to find they don't have enough or the right size life jackets to accommodate all. Our life jacket loaner program solves those issues.