Contact: Sgt. Gregory Rhodes, Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement, 302-739-9913 or 302-542-6102, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
DNREC Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Blotter June 27-July 11
Reminder for the week: Life jackets save lives, so be safe and wear it
DOVER (July 13, 2012) – To achieve public compliance through education and enforcement actions that help conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety, DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement agents responded to 183 complaints and issued 144 citations between June 27 and July 11. Incidents of particular note included:
· On July 7, agents arrested Robert A. Ayers, 53, of Milton, and charged him with OUI and a slow no-wake violation in an incident in the Pirates Cove area of Rehoboth Bay. A later court date is pending in Justice of the Peace Court 14 in Georgetown.
· On July 10, agents investigated a report of commercial crabbing violations. Frank W. “Thumper” Eicherly, 53, of Frederica, was cited and issued a fine for one count of unmarked commercial crab pots.
Citations issued by violation type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Recreational Fisheries Conservation: Fishing without a license (12), Kent and Sussex counties; prohibited method of take, summer flounder (1) and possession of undersized summer flounder (2), Kent and Sussex counties; possession of undersized striped bass (1), Sussex County; possession of undersized blue crab (9), and unmarked recreational crab pots (1), Sussex County; failure to tend recreational crab pots (2), over limit of recreational crab pots (7), crabbing violation (1), tampering with recreational crab pot (1), use of crab pot without turtle by-catch excluder (2), possession of sponge crabs (2), over limit clams (1), all Sussex County.
Commercial Fisheries Conservation: Unmarked commercial crab pots (1), Kent County.
Wildlife Conservation: Trespassing in a wildlife area after hours (5), Kent and Sussex counties; operating a motor vehicle off established roadways in a state wildlife area (1), New Castle County.
Boating Safety: Operating a vessel under the influence (2), Kent and Sussex counties; no life jackets on children age 12 or younger as required by law (16), and operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets aboard (12), Sussex, Kent and New Castle counties; reckless/negligent operation of a vessel (5), exceeding slow no-wake speed (14), operating a motor vessel without a boating safety certificate (19), and unregistered motor vessel (4), New Castle and Sussex counties; owner allowing the use of a non-compliant vessel (4), jet ski violations (2), water skiing in a prohibited area (1) and towing a water skier without an observer (2), Sussex County; insufficient boating safety equipment (2), New Castle and Kent counties; and operating a motor vessel with no sound-producing equipment (1), New Castle County.
Public Safety: Aggressive driving (1), improper lane change (1), following too closely (1), passing on shoulder (1), disregarding red light (1), all same case, New Castle County; clamming in polluted area (2), Sussex County.
Other: Terroristic threatening (1) and offensive touching (1), both same case, New Castle County; dumping (1), Kent County; unregistered motor vehicle (1), and parking in designated handicapped space (1), New Castle County.
Are you AWARE?
The Delaware Office of Boating Safety of the Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section reminds boaters of the importance of life jackets while boating. Statistics support the vital role of wearing life jackets in keeping boaters safe. According to U.S. Coast Guard data, nearly three-quarters of all boating fatalities nationwide in 2011 were drowning victims – and more than 80 percent of them were not wearing life jackets.
“Like seatbelts in automobiles, we know without question that life jackets save lives,” said Sgt. Gregory Rhodes, Office of Boating Safety. “Today’s life jackets are also more effective, more comfortable and even more fashionable than in the past, so there’s simply no reason not to use them.”
In Delaware, life jackets also are the law, with the following requirements included:
· Children age 12 and younger are required to wear a life jacket while underway in any vessel on Delaware waters.
· Recreational vessels are required to carry one life jacket for each person aboard, and to keep them readily accessible. (Minimum fine for violations: $76.50)
· Recreational vessels 16 feet in length or longer are required to carry one throwable cushion or ring buoy in addition to life jackets for all aboard.
“Vessel operators are responsible to make sure that children aboard their boat are wearing life jackets – and they can set the example by wearing one themselves,” Sgt. Rhodes said. “Though life jackets are not legally required for adults, they should be worn, especially by anyone with limited swimming skills.”
For more information on life jackets and boating safety, visit www.fw.delaware.gov/Boating/BoatingSafety.htm
Citizens are encouraged to report fish and wildlife and boating violations to the Delaware Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section by calling 302-739-4580.
Vol. 42, No. 262