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Summer has just begun and the Water Safety Council thought the timing is right to repost information intended to keep all folks who play in the lake SAFE.  Very recently we had a boat go bump in the night.  Bow and stern lights must be on at sunset.

Just the other night I heard a boat zooming by around midnight.   From the engine sound, I went out on the deck to see who was going so fast after dark and saw no navigation lights.  Obviously a major safety issue and it’s illegal.  Probably a safe bet there was drinking involved.

All other vessels (canoes, kayaks, rowboats and sailboat) must have a visible white light.

Other good safety reminders to keep this lake safe and you safe.

Children under the age of 13 must wear a US Coast Guard approved life jacket. The Water Safety Council sponsors a life jacket loaner program for kids of all ages.  Visit our website for more information.

Kids must be at least 14 years of age to operate a PWC.

PWC (a jet ski) must not be operated before sunrise or after sundown.

Most vessels carry a rating plate that identifies the number of persons that can be safely aboard.  The number of persons on board and the number of persons being towed cannot exceed that number.  If a jet ski is rated for 3 persons, that means one on the jet ski and two being towed.

When a vessel is underway no person should sit, stand or lay outside the gated area.

It is illegal to use docking lights when underway.  “Mood” lights after dark are pretty but detract night vision.

Mind your wake. In NC. PWC’s are not to operate within 100 feet and for Virginia, 50 feet, of docks, shorelines, other vessels and swimmers.

Sailboats not under power and boats propelled by oars or paddles have the right of way.  

The above list is by no means inclusive of all rules on the water.  Every boat operator is responsible for any damage caused by your wake.  If you are new to this lake, you should take the Safe Boating Class taught by our USCG Auxiliary.  https://cgaux.org/

The Council wishes you a safe boating season and have fun out there.  Watch out for the other guy and if you would like more information, please visit www.LKGWSC.org.

Thanks for reading.
Lake Gaston Water Safety Council

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