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Are we ready for summer 2023?

 

I can assure you the lake is ready for the summer migration as we merge the full timers with the vacationers and part timers who will soon fill the 20,000 acres and 350 miles of shoreline not to mention the grocery stores, restaurants (we have some new ones) and shopping areas, etc.

 

We are always reluctant to toot are own horn and Ive learned long ago to never take credit for anything.   People will notice.  However, now is not the time to get complacent since we have already had one boater who tried to drive over (not under) the EF Bridge.

 

A recent article in a newspaper at a nearby lake in Virginia noted 22 boating safety accidents in 2022.   My memory isnt what it was but I can think of less than 10 here on Lake Gaston last summer.

 

The facts are the water safety record on Lake Gaston year after year is very good.   Why is that?   Id like to think boater safety training and awareness by the Lake Gaston Water Safety Council, the USCG Auxiliary Flotilla 9-3 monthly boater safety classes, the LGA Public Safety Committee and we cant forget NC Wildlife, Virginia Department of Water Resource Management and the first responders (both volunteer and paid) who are ready to respond on a moments notice.   Surely all are contributing factors. 

 

What can you do to prevent boating safety accidents this year?  Of course the answer is awareness and boat responsibly.  No drinking when operating a watercraft and wear the PFD (its mandatory for my visiting grandkids and young guests) down at the boathouseand while underway.   Always a good reminder to be considerate of others with your wake.  

 

Its all common sense.  We just cant let down our guard down this boating season.  

 

For more safe boating tips, please visit the Lake Gaston Water Safety Council website: www.lkgwsc.org.

 

My wish to all is a safe and fun boating season.  Lets all enjoy this beautiful lake and never forget to watch out for the other guy. 

 

Brian Goldsworthy

Past President, Lake Gaston Water Safety Council 

 

The Electrical Safe Boat House
The Water Safety Council was formed, in part, because of electrical shock  around boathouses.
    Electrocution is still a real possibility at Lake Gaston.
    Improper installation,  faulty equipment,  or frayed wiring can allow electricity to flow into the water around the source.
    The accompanying picture shows a quick check for voltage on boat lift.
   The lift is up in the air not touching the water.
   The meter is set to a low range for AC voltage ( sorry, this $10 multimeter's lowest tange is 200)
    The black test lead is hanging in the water and the red test lead should touch a crossbar or the cable on the lift.
    If you don't feel comfortable testing this, ask an electrician.
   Space is too short to go into all of the possibilities of what could go wrong,  but here's a known problem.
   You may have two grounding rods connected in the electrical panel (breaker box) at the boathouse. They can be at different potentials and cause an unbalanced system.
[  ] Look for a grounding rod at the shore and trace it to the panel.
[  ] Now look for the power wires that are coming from your house. If the bare copper wire in that cable is connected, along with the wire that comes from the rod you found, that could be your problem.
[  ] Kill the breaker at house that feeds power to the boathouse.
[  ] Remove one of those grounds (either, but I'd  remove the one from the shore rod) and securely tighten the remaining ground wire and any other wires that were under the ground lug in the panel.
[  ] Turn the breaker back on and retest with the meter.
    If you are ever in the water and you feel a "tingle or buzz" swim back the way you came and have it checked out.

Wyatt Andrews
(Not an electrician)
President
LKGWSC.ORG

 

In 2022, the Lake Gaston Water Safety Council . . .

Received funds from Dominion EnergyVirginia Beach Utilities, and Members, as well as partnered with USCG Auxiliary911 TaskForce, area VFDs, and VA & NC Wildlife to provide safety awareness around Lake Gaston. 


We provided over 50 Lawn signs that are posted at ramps, businesses, along roadsides and at HOAs.


Funded the Life Jackets Loaner Program and worked with 7 area marinas/campgrounds to have jackets available to the public.

Updated brochures and promoted our new web addresslkgwsc.org.

We stuffed 1,000 Brochures Packets (with safety literature and maps, along with 911 Taskforce information), then distributed to participating realtors, businesses, and marina partners.

Held 8 Membership Meetings with 7 programs presenting local, state, and federal safety laws and updated changes. 

The LGWSC Safety trailer was set-up for:
   Seven weeks at John 3:16 (C.A.R.E.) Childrens Summer camp to assist USCG Aux. with presentations, reaching over 130 campers and 8 counselors.
   Public locations
   Staffed at 6 locations where we met over 400 people and distributed brochures, maps, wristbands and whistles.

The Get Home Safely Program provided Fire Extinguishers and Throwables to USCG. This program keeps Coast Guard from having to escort boats to their dock and builds fellowship in the community. 

Allocated funds to assist USCG Aux to acquire a Viper radio so they can directly communicate with law enforcement, EMS, and Fire.

Your Board held it’s first meeting of the year on Thursday, January 12.   Committee assignments were confirmed and planning is underway for the 2023 boating season.   

The Board will meet two more times before our first meeting of the season on Wednesday, March 29.   Yes, we will return to the Kennon House.  Stay tuned for more details.  

If you haven’t paid your 2023 membership dues, please do so now.  You can pay online or send a $10.00 check, payable to the Lake Gaston Water Safety Council, POB 207, Henrico, NC, 27842.  Your tax deductible donation helps the volunteer leadership continue with our water safety programs.   

Although we’ve adjourned for the year, it’s always the right time to think about water safety! Have a wonderful holiday season & we’ll  see you next year!

Become a Member of the Lake Gaston Water Safety Council

Memberships are $5.00 per person - $10.00 per family $10.00 per Business.