Deep Creek Lake marina owners are not happy about a recent amendment to the Deep Creek Zoning Ordinance.
The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) reminds citizens to make safety a priority during the last holiday weekend of the summer.
“Labor Day is the unofficial transition from summer to fall activities,” said Col. George Johnson IV. “Families will continue to enjoy camping, boating and fishing in the cooler September weather, and, as various hunting seasons begin, we urge everyone to make safety the top priority while enjoying any of these activities.”
Maryland has experienced a usually high number of boating deaths this year and NRP will step up its enforcement in an effort to maintain safe waterways. Over the weekend, NRP will focus their enforcement effort on those activities that contribute to boating accidents, such as alcohol, negligent operation, bow riding and navigational violations.
The cooler weather signals a renewed interest in camping and park recreation during the fall. NRP reminds State Park and campground visitors to obey the law and be courteous to other visitors. Hikers and campers should inform friends or relatives of their plans before they depart, including destination and trip length. This information will assist NRP if campers/hikers do not return on time.
September is the start of several hunting seasons, including dove, early resident goose, squirrel and deer seasons. NRP reminds hunters to always think about safety before entering the field, marsh or woodlands. Remember to always point the muzzle of your weapon in a safe direction and identify your target before pulling the trigger. Also, always use a fall restraint system when hunting from elevated platforms. First time hunters are reminded of the requirement to complete a hunter safety course before going hunting. For more information on hunting safety courses please visit http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/nrp/hunter_education.asp.
The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) will participate in Operation Dry Water, a nationally-coordinated program to raise awareness about the dangers of using of alcohol in a boating environment from. Detection and enforcement of boating under the influence will be a nationwide priority for the program taking place from June 24 through 26.
“Our main focus with Operation Dry Water is to prevent accidents and fatalities while making our waterways safer and more enjoyable for all boaters,” said NRP Colonel George F. Johnson IV.
Operation Dry Water is organized by the National Association of State Boating Law Enforcement Administrators. NRP, the United States Coast Guard and local law enforcement agencies will utilize increased personnel to patrol during the weekend. Officers will be targeting high-accident areas and areas where boating and alcohol have been a problem in the past, but patrols will take place in every part of the State.
Nationwide, 16 percent of boating fatalities result from alcohol use in 2009. In Maryland, alcohol and illegal drug use were a contributing factor in 8 percent of the 219 reportable boating accidents and 169 alcohol-related charges were placed against boaters in 2010. The maximum penalty for operating a vessel while impaired by alcohol is a $1000 fine and a year in jail for the first offense.
NRP would like to remind citizens that the sun, wind and water can cause fatigue in boaters. Alcohol use magnifies this fatigue, impairs judgment and can lead to accidents and death. NRP reminds boaters to boat safe, boat smart and boat sober!
In the wake of a recent series of tragic incidents, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is urging Marylanders and visitors to be extra vigilant on the water this summer.
“We want everyone to be able to enjoy the wonderful recreational opportunities our State has to offer on water and land to the fullest, but safety is our utmost concern,” said DNR Secretary John Griffin. “We are asking everyone to research their activities, the areas they are visiting and use the expertise of our Maryland Park Service staff and Natural Resources Police officers to remain as safe as possible.”
NRP responded to three drowning incidents and two fatal boating accidents over Memorial Day weekend.
“The losses we experienced over Memorial Day weekend were tragic, and unusual so early in the season,” said NRP Superintendent Colonel George F. Johnson IV. “The importance of safety while boating and swimming can not be overstated and must be a number one priority while enjoying Maryland waterways and State Parks.”
NRP recommends that swimmers stay within designated swimming areas with lifeguards on duty whenever possible. Lifeguards keep all swimmers informed of any changes in water conditions and are trained to respond if an emergency occurs.
NRP also offers the following swimming safety tips:
* When swimming outside guarded areas obey all warning signs that alert swimmers to dangers and be aware of any surrounding signs or markers that indicate current water conditions.
* Never swim alone or while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
* Pay special attention to small children and use safety devices such as life jackets on children or other individuals who can not swim.
* Carry a cell phone or have other ways of contacting emergency personnel if a situation arises.
If an emergency occurs, immediately call 911 and remember to Reach, Throw, Row and Go:
REACH the person in trouble by extending a releasable item, such as a pole, line or rope to pull them to safety, but not by hand as the rescuer could quickly become another victim.
THROW an object that floats to the victim if they are unreachable. A life ring, PFD, cooler or plastic jug is suitable floating objects that can keep a troubled swimmer afloat until rescues arrive.
ROW to the victim, using a canoe or any other safe watercraft. The rescuer must wear a life jacket. Once the victim is nearby, a rope or paddle should be extended and used to tow the victim to shore if possible.
GO to the victim by entering the water as a last resort and ONLY if properly trained. The rescuer should bring an object to keep the victim afloat and to prevent being pulled under.
The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) urges boaters to be SAFE while enjoying Maryland’s waterways.
Last year, Maryland had 16 fatal accidents, resulting in 17 deaths, up from a 5-year average of 12 fatal accidents. NRP reports that 16 of the 17 victims were not wearing life vests and stresses that wearing a life jacket could be the single most important factor in preventing boating deaths. Alcohol and drugs were a contributing factor in 7 of the fatal boating accidents.
“Boaters should use good judgment, avoid alcohol consumption and take safety precautions before departing,” said NRP Colonel George Johnson.
Boaters can help ensure their safety and the safety of others enjoying Maryland’s waterways by remembering the acronym “SAFE”:
· S – Survey or examine your vessel’s hull, engine and navigational equipment for serviceability. Ensure the hull is sound and free of cracks, holes and defects. Survey your vessel’s engine performance. Take it to a certified mechanic to ensure the engine is operating properly. Survey and examine all navigational lights, communication, radar, GPS and other electronic equipment to ensure that they are functioning properly.
· A – Anticipate the needs of the trip prior to leaving the dock. Ensure fuel, clothing, and medical needs are met during the trip. Plan for unexpected events like foul weather or sudden storms.
· F – File a float plan with a friend or relative. Tell someone where you going, how long you plan to stay, and when to expect you back. This is vital information for rescuers searching for lost or overdue boaters.
· E – Equipment. Ensure that all safety equipment is in good condition and sufficient quantity for the people on board the vessel. Basic equipment includes correct size and quantity of life jackets, fire extinguishers, visual distress signals (flares etc), and sound producing device such as a whistle or horn.
NRP responded to 299 boating accidents last year, 202 of which resulted in injuries that required treatment more than first aid and/or had damages to the vessels in excess of $ 2,000. Also, NRP responded to an additional 355 boating assist and search or rescue calls last year. NRP responds to an average 2400 boating incidents a year.
For more information on safe boating in Maryland, visit the DNR website: http://www.dnr.state.md.us/boating/.
Dick's Sporting Goods is helping kick off a holiday-inspired Anglers' Legacy Pledge drive, the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) announced. Outdoor enthusiasts are Take the Pledge & be eligible to win a $50 Dick's gift card!being encouraged to take the Anglers' Legacy Pledge – a promise to introduce someone new to the sport – for the Thanksgiving holiday. Those who take the Pledge at AnglersLegacy.org now through November 21, 2009 are eligible to win daily $50 gift cards, courtesy of Dick's Sporting Goods."We are happy to work with Dick's to encourage boaters and anglers to introduce newcomers to the sport," said RBFF President & CEO Frank Peterson. "It's important to reflect on the reasons why we started boating and fishing, and I hope those memories inspire people this holiday to take the Anglers' Legacy Pledge. We know that our Ambassadors introduce more newcomers to the sport and make a significantly larger economic impact on the boating and fishing industry than non-Ambassadors. By mobilizing avids to teach newcomers, we will make a big impact on future participation and conservation efforts."
DNR to Submit Legislation to Raise Age Requirements for Children
Governor Martin O’Malley today announced he will direct the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to draft a bill for the 2010 General Assembly to increase the age at which children are required to wear life preservers. Under the new legislation, any child under the age of 13 would be required to wear a personal flotation device (PFD); the current age is 7.
“While we are truly blessed to be able to enjoy all that Maryland’s vast network of waterways offers, even one boating related death is one too many," said Governor Martin O’Malley. “Raising the age at which a child is required to wear a life vest is paramount to ensuring the safety of our children out on the water.”
Current law states any child under the age of seven must wear a PFD on a recreational boat 21 feet or smaller, unless the boat is moored or anchored or the child is below deck in an enclosed cabin. If the General Assembly passes the new legislation, the age would be raised from 7 to 13 starting July 10, 2010.
“Despite increased outreach, education and enforcement, Maryland has had 15 boating related drownings since January – including an 11-year old girl,” said DNR Secretary John Griffin. “This is beyond alarming; it is unacceptable, and we are committed to doing everything we can to keep our boaters – and our children – safe.”
The State averages 12 boating related fatalities a year.
“Eighty percent of all boating related deaths can be prevented with a life vest,” said NRP Superintendent Colonel George Johnson. “It is our hope that legislation will not only increase the number of Maryland children wearing PFDs but also help increase awareness about the importance of life vests.”
Raising the age requirement will put Maryland in line with federal regulations and 34 states, including Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Washington, DC. The federal regulations do not supersede the state, but the National Transportation Board strongly encourages states to update their PFD requirements.
“Life vests save lives,” said State Boat Act Advisory Committtee Chariman Dan Jarzynski. “Our Committee unanimously supports this legislation and urges its passage this upcoming legislative session.”
Maryland law also states that anyone born on or after July 1, 1972 must have a Certificate of Boating Safety Education in order to operate a mechanically propelled vessel on Maryland waters. NRP offers both in-person and on-line boating safety courses to receive that certificate. For more information go to http://www.dnr.state.md.us/boating/safety/basiccourse.html
DNR will draft the legislation, which will be endorsed by the Administration and presented to the 2010 General Assembly in when it reconvenes in January.
Mike Kennedy updates on proposed changes to Deep Creek Lake's Personal Watercraft docking and mooring regulations on the Railey Realty Blog.
On June 26-28, 2009, the Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) will be participating in Operation Dry Water. Operation Dry Water is a nationally coordinated program to bring awareness about the dangerous use of alcohol in the boating environment. During this weekend, boating under the influence detection and enforcement will be a priority nation wide. This weekend is aimed at reducing the number of alcohol related accidents and fatalities. This campaign is organized by the National Association of State Boating Law Enforcement Administrators (NSBLA). The Maryland Natural Resources Police, the United States Coast Guard and local law enforcement agencies will be utilizing increase personnel to patrol during this Fri-Sun period. The Officers will be targeting high accident areas and areas where boating and alcohol have been a problem in the past. These patrols will take place in every part of the state from Deep Creek Lake in Garrett County, Potomac River, and the Chesapeake Bay in central Maryland, to the Coastal Bays and the Atlantic Oceans. Nationwide 21% of boating fatalities were the result of alcohol use. In Maryland, there were 222 alcohol related charges placed against boating operators, which is above the ten year average of 129 arrests. The Natural Resources Police would like to remind citizens that the sun, wind and the action of the waves and water causes fatigue to the boater. The use of alcohol during boating magnifies this fatigue and impairs judgment. The increase in fatigue and impaired judgment can lead to accidents and death. The Natural Resources Police would remind boaters to boat safe, boat smart ….boat sober!
Here's the full press release on National Fishing & Boating Week:
There are tens of thousands of places to fish and boat in the U.S. - and for the 30th Anniversary of National Fishing & Boating Week (June 6-14), the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) is launching an online movement that encourages kids and their families to find one. And for those who might not know a bass from a trout to even the most skilled anglers, RBFF has the ultimate online fishing and boating resource, www.TakeMeFishing.org, where site visitors can learn everything they need to know to plan a day on the water. Visitors may also be eligible to win daily prizes and a boat when they play the new interactive game, "Catch A Boat."
Since its 2005 reauthorization, RBFF has played a critical role in introducing more than 500,000 youth and newcomers to fishing and boating while raising more than $6 million for state conservation efforts. Beginning with National Fishing & Boating Week, RBFF is hoping to see families across the country get involved.
"I can give any parent three good reasons to take their kids fishing and boating this summer," said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. "First, new research shows fishing is the number one gateway activity to get children interested in other outdoor activities. Second, it's affordable and local at a time when many families are considering skipping their summer vacations all together. And third, when you purchase a fishing license, equipment or supplies, that money goes back to conservation projects that keep our nation's waterways clean and fish populations healthy."
To further encourage fishing and boating in 2009, RBFF has designed an interactive online game that lets www.TakeMeFishing.org visitors virtually "fish" for a chance to win a boat. Participants may be eligible to win daily prizes from one of RBFF's sponsors - Dick's Sporting Goods, Humminbird, Plano, Rapala, Simms, West Marine and Zebco - or the grand prize of a Triumph boat with an Evinrude motor and EZ Loader trailer. The "Catch A Boat" contest will go live at noon CT on June 4, 2009 and run for seven weeks through fishing and boating season. For Official Rules and eligibility information, visit www.TakeMeFishing.org.
"Catch A Boat" will be the latest in RBFF's online successes. Since re-launching www.TakeMeFishing.org in April 2008, the site has received 2.4 million unique visitors - up 129 percent from 2008 and 243 percent from 2007. RBFF has also recruited more than 6,500 anglers and boaters to join its social network, www.Fishington.com, which was launched just seven months ago.
National Fishing & Boating Week began as National Fishing Week in 1979 when industry and conservation leaders, state natural resource agencies and anglers organized a unified effort to introduce more young people to the sport and outdoor conservation. In 2001, responsibility for the week was handed off to RBFF.
For a listing of more than 12,000 places to fish and boat, local events taking place during National Fishing and Boating Week, and information about free-fishing days, visit www.TakeMeFishing.org.
What better place to celebrate National Fishing and Boating Week, June 6th through June 14th, than at Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation encourages people to enjoy the outdoors with their children and families. In Garrett County, take advantage of Maryland's Free Fishing Days, coming up the first two Saturdays in June.