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 28-June 4
Reminder for the week: Jet ski operators need to follow age, safety rules
DOVER (June 7, 2013) – 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 between May 28 and June 4 made 1,015 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 112 boating safety/fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents responded to 42 complaints and issued 33 citations, eight of which were associated with increased Fish and Wildlife Enforcement presence at the C&D Canal Conservation Area (formerly the C&D Canal Wildlife Area) and the associated recreational trail currently under construction. Incidents of particular note included:
· On May 29, Thomas F. Lovatt, 62, of Wilmington, was cited for inattentive operation of a motor vessel. Upon responding to a call from the U.S. Coast Guard, Enforcement agents found Lovatt waiting with his badly damaged 21-foot boat beached at Bayview on the Delaware River. Investigation at the scene found that the vessel had collided with a marked jetty south of Reedy Island. Lovatt was not injured.
Citations issued by violation type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway in a state wildlife area (1), New Castle County; Trespassing after hours in a state wildlife area (3), New Castle and Kent counties.
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Failure to release protected shark unharmed (2), Kent County; Unlicensed fishing (8), Kent and Sussex counties; Possession of undersized blue crab (1), possession of undersized weakfish (2), and improperly marked recreational crab pot (1), Sussex County.
Boating Safety: Inattentive operation of a motor vessel (1), and operating an unregistered motor vessel (1), New Castle County; Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets aboard (2), and no life jacket on child age 12 or younger as required by law (2), Kent and Sussex counties;
Public Safety: Shooting across a public roadway (3), shooting within 15 yards of a public roadway (1), and possession of a loaded firearm (a rifle) in a motor vehicle (1), Sussex County; Operating an unregistered motor vehicle in a state wildlife area (2), and loitering (1), New Castle County.
Other: Dumping (1), New Castle County.
Are you AWARE?
The Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section reminds personal watercraft (PWC) owners/operators that no one under the age of 14 is permitted to operate a PWC under any conditions in Delaware waters. Ages 14 and 15 may operate a PWC only under direct supervision of a parent or guardian. Those who are 16 and older and who are in possession of a boating safety certification card may operate a PWC without age restrictions.
PWCs, also commonly called jet skis, are considered inboard boats and must follow the same rules and requirements of any other vessel, including lifejacket requirements. However, there are some important differences that PWC drivers should remember. PWCs steer using a pressurized jet of water, have no brakes, and lose all steering control if the engine is allowed to idle or shut off.
Most PWCs are equipped with an emergency ignition safety “kill” switch, attached to a lanyard which the driver is required to wear on his or her wrist. This switch shuts off the engine if the driver is thrown from the proper operating position.
Other considerations include:
· Jumping the wake of a passing boat or riding too close to another PWC or boat creates risks and is prohibited in Delaware waters.
· To avoid engine damage as well as damage to the underwater environment, PWCs should be operated in waters that are at least 30 inches deep.
· Do not dock or beach your PWC in reeds or grasses, and do not use your PWC to chase or harass wildlife.
For more information on boating safety, pick up a copy of the Handbook of Delaware Boating Laws and Responsibilities at the DNREC licensing desk, or visit Delaware_Boating_Safety on the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife website. For more on Delaware’s boating laws, please visit Boating Regulations.
The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife recognizes and thanks the majority of anglers, hunters and boaters who comply with and support Delaware’s fishing, hunting and boating laws and regulations. Citizens are encouraged to report fish and wildlife and boating violations to the Delaware Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section by calling 302-739-4580. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030 or online at www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Hunting/Pages/OpGameTheft.aspx .
Vol. 43, No. 236