August 17th, 2011
West Erie County, DWCO Randy Leighton, firstname.lastname@example.org
Celebrate Erie, August 14th -16th:
Boat Ownership, Protecting That Investment:
Across the nation, as recreational boating continues to gain popularity, more and more boats, trailers, equipment, electronics and personal items are stolen each year. Most of these crimes are committed by amateurs who, when tempted with an easy opportunity, can't resist the temptation. Remember the old adage that locks are just a means of keeping honest people honest. This certainly applies to boating. You would be surprised at how often, when strolling the fuel dock, you will find a boat that has pulled up for fuel, or ice or refreshments, just sitting there unattended with the keys in the ignition or, worse yet, idling away. Or even if the keys aren't present you might see a handheld VHF radio or a pair of expensive binoculars just lying in the seat or on the dash. What can you do to make sure that your boat stays in your possession? Read on for tips on security.
Be sure to keep a copy of your boat and trailer registrations at home in a safe place. It is also a good idea to take a hull rubbing of your HIN. Take a sheet of thin paper and tape it over your HIN number on the transom. Using a soft leaded pencil, rub back and forth across the number lightly until in shows up on the piece of paper.
PHOTOGRAPH OR FILM IT:
Boats on trailers are easy crime targets if thieves can just hitch up and drive away. Here are several ways that you can help prevent that:
If possible, store the boat and trailer in a locked garage, secured boat storage facility or mini-storage warehouse.
If your boat is kept in the water at a dock, consider chaining it to the dock. Also, get to know your marina neighbors and form a marina watch group.
By following the above suggestions you can reduce the risk of loss of your boat, trailer or equipment by theft. You should also exercise caution when buying a boat or running across a "good deal" on equipment. To avoid problems, match the HIN listed on the title and registration to the one on the boat. Inspect the HIN on the transom to be sure it has not been altered in any way. (Also, contact the manufacturer to see if a second, duplicate HIN was placed on the vessel or equipment in an inconspicuous place.) And, if you think that pair of $500.00 binoculars is a real bargain at only twenty five bucks...well remember that saying, if it is too good to be true...
A Few USCG/PFBC Safety Tips and Regulations On Waterskiing and Tubing:
ALWAYS have an competent observer in the boat. This is a legal requirement in Pennsylvania and most states. The boat driver cannot watch the skier and operate the boat safely at the same time.
ALWAYS wear a Coast Guard approved wearable Personal Flotation Device (PFD) designed for water skiing. Ski belts are not permitted in Pennsylvania nor are inflatable PFDs
Never ski in rough water. High waves or a choppy sea will prevent the tow boat from maintaining a steady course and speed and can make retrieving a downed skier dangerous.
Stay well clear of congested areas and obstructions. Water-skiing requires a lot of open area.
Don't spray or "buzz" swimmers, boats, or other skiers. Such stunts are dangerous, discourteous, and could cause an unintentional collision.
NEVER ski after dark. It is hazardous and a violation of the law. Water sking and other similar activities are not permitted between the hours of sunset and sunrise. Any boat traveling fast enough to tow a skier is traveling too fast to navigate safely at night.
NEVER water-ski while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Such activity is extremely dangerous because of the impairment to your judgment and ability to respond. A recent study conducted with expert skiers who were deliberately intoxicated indicated that even their ability to ski was dramatically reduced.
Use hand signals between the skier and observer. Agree before you start what each signal means so there is no confusion at a critical moment.
Retrieving a Downed Skier:
While waiting to be picked up, the skier should hold up a ski to increase their chances of being recognized in the water. The boat operator reduces speed immediately while the observer maintains visual contact with the skier and directs the operator. Return to pick up the fallen skier with the boat at reduced speed and headed into the wind or current, whichever is stronger.
Always turn off engine when approaching the skier. The observer is to watch for the skier's signal to indicate the skier is all right. If the signal is not seen, the operator must assume the skier is injured and needs immediate assistance. If the skier is injured but is able to grasp and hold a line, maneuver the boat upwind and close to the injured person. Turn off the engine, throw the injured skier a line and gently haul them in. If they cannot grasp and hold a line, follow the same procedure, but let the boat drift towards them without power.
Always keep the operator's side toward the victim and NEVER retrieve anyone from the water with the engine running. Put a swimmer in the water to retrieve a skier only as a last resort
Wednesday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows in the lower 60s. South winds around 5 mph.
Thursday...Mostly cloudy in the morning...then clearing. A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs around 80. Southwest winds 5 to 10 mph...becoming west in the afternoon. Chance of rain 40 percent.
Thursday Night...Partly cloudy. A chance of showers and thunderstorms in the evening. Lows in the mid 60s. Southwest winds around 5 mph. Chance of rain 30 percent.
Friday...Partly cloudy. Highs in the upper 70s.
Friday Night...Mostly clear. Lows in the upper 60s.
Saturday...Partly cloudy. Highs in the lower 80s.
Saturday Night...Partly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the upper 60s. Chance of rain 30 percent.
Sunday...Partly sunny with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 70s. Chance of rain 30 percent.
Sunday Night...Partly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the lower 60s. Chance of rain 30 percent.
Monday...Partly sunny. Highs in the mid 70s.
Monday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows in the lower 60s.
Tuesday...Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 70s.