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 boathouse, dock, or swimmer in the water. The distance between my boathouse 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 powerboats.

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.

Become a Member of the Lake Gaston Water Safety Council

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