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 May 21-27
Reminder for the week: Observe safety precautions when towing water skiers
DOVER (May 31, 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 71 complaints and issued 63 citations between May 16 and May 23. Over the Memorial Day weekend, agents also performed numerous boating safety checks and responded to a number of calls regarding disabled vessels in busy waterways. Incidents of particular note included:
· On May 26, John C. Kidwell, age 22, of Pennsville, N.J., was arrested and charged with operating a vessel under the influence and no boating education certificate in an incident on the Delaware River in New Castle County. Kidwell was taken into custody and turned over to the Wilmington Police Department on two traffic warrants. A future court date is pending.
Citations issued between May 21 and May 27 by violation type included the following charges, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Fishing without a license (4), and failure to release a protected shark unharmed (1), all Kent/New Castle counties; fisheries violations (7), and shellfish violations (8), all Sussex County.
Wildlife Conservation: Trespassing on a state wildlife area (1), Sussex County.
Boating Safety: No life jackets on children age 12 or younger as required by law (6), water skiing violations (5), invalid boat registration (1), all Sussex County; non-compliant vessel violations (5), vessel equipment violations (6), slow no wake (9), and no boating education certificate (3), Sussex and Kent/New Castle counties.
Public Safety: Operating a vessel under the influence (1), and failure to maintain proper lookout aboard a vessel (1), both Kent/New Castle counties.
Other: Dumping on state lands (3), Kent/New Castle counties; parking violations (2), Sussex County.
Are you AWARE?
With the summer season off to a running start, the Delaware Office of Boating Safety of the Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section reminds boaters of some important safety regulations when towing water skiers.
“Water skiing is a three-person sport – the water skier, the boat operator and the observer,” said Sgt. Gregory Rhodes of the Delaware Office of Boating Safety. “Under Delaware law, any vessel towing a water skier must have a person aboard other than the operator to act as the observer. To ensure the skier’s safety, the observer faces backwards, watches the skier and alerts the boat operator of any hand signals from the skier, any obstacles in the path of the vessel or skier, or if the skier goes down.”
Other safety requirements for water skiing:
· Recreational water skiers must wear life jackets.
· A water skiing tow line cannot exceed 75 feet in length.
· Observe all “slow - no wake” areas.
· Avoid traveling at unsafe speeds, especially in congested areas.
· Observe marked “No water skiing” areas, including all marked swimming areas, a portion of the channel through Masseys Landing, Assawoman Canal, and portions of the Rehoboth-Lewes Canal, Indian River Inlet, Roosevelt Inlet and White Creek.
· Maintain a safe and reasonable distance from shipping lanes, other vessels, persons and property.
· Water skiing is prohibited at night between sunset and sunrise, and within 100 feet of persons in the water, piers, docks, floats, wharfs, vessels anchored or adrift and private or public boat launch ramps.
For more information on 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. 206