Contact: Cpl. John McDerby, DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913 or 302-354-1386, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter:
Reminder for the week: Observe safety precautions
when towing water skiers, tubers, knee-boarders
DOVER (Aug. 21, 2015) – 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 Natural Resources Police officers between Aug. 10-16 made 1,819 contacts with anglers, boaters and the general public, including 357 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 76 complaints and issued 48 citations, one of which was related to the C&D Canal Conservation Area and associated recreational trail, where there is an increased Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence.
Incidents of particular note were:
· On Aug. 16, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers cited Raymond Grier, 57, of Dover, for possession of a prohibited shark species near Port Mahon. Grier was issued a fine totaling $107, including court costs.
· On Aug. 15, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers, following a vessel safety check on the Delaware River near Augustine Beach, arrested John Dipersio, 39, of Middletown, and charged him with operating under the influence, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and endangering the welfare of a child. Dipersio was taken to Delaware State Police Troop 9 in Odessa for a breathalyzer test and released pending an appearance at a later date in Justice of the Peace Court 9 in Middletown.
· On Aug. 15, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested Robert A. Edgar, 32, of Wilmington, for operating under the influence of alcohol and no navigation lights/required safety equipment after sunset on Indian River. Edgar was released pending a mandatory appearance at a later date in Justice of the Peace Court 14 in Georgetown.
· Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers are investigating an Aug. 15 boating accident on Indian River in which two children were injured while being pulled on Hot Dog tubes. The torpedo-shaped inflatable tube rolled over, causing the children’s heads to collide. Both were transported from Beebe Medical Center in Lewes to A.I. DuPont Children’s Hospital in Wilmington, where they were reported in stable condition. No charges have been filed in connection with the accident.
· On Aug. 14, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers cited Jennifer Fulton, 37, of Newark, for damaging state property on a wildlife area in connection with an abandoned vehicle found crashed against an access gate at the Michael Castle C&D Canal Trail on the C&D Canal Conservation Area. Fulton faces a minimum fine with court costs of $107, and possible restitution for the damage.
Citations issued this week by offense type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (2), and damaging state property on a wildlife area (1)*.
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Fishing without a license (11), possession of undersized blue crabs (4), improperly marked recreational crab pot (3), over-the-limit recreational crab pots (2), use of recreational crab pots without required turtle excluder (1), possession of a prohibited shark (1), unlawfully harvesting oysters from Inland Bays (2), and possession of undersized summer flounder (4).
Boating and Boating Safety: Operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol (2), operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (3), no life jacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law (4), no boating safety certificate (1), failure to observe slow-no-wake zone (1), no navigation lights/required safety equipment (1), no sound-producing device on board/required safety equipment (1), and allowing use of a non-compliant vessel (1).
Public Safety: Disorderly conduct (1), resisting arrest (1), and endangering the welfare of a child (1).
* This citation was issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police News, Training and Outreach
On Aug. 13, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers displayed police patrol vessel MP-Sierra at a Smyrna Night Out community gathering, with about 120 people in attendance.
Are you AWARE?
DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind boaters of some important safety regulations when towing water skiers, tubers and knee-boarders.
“Water skiing requires at least three participants – the water skier or skiers, the boat operator and a competent observer – and this also applies to tubing and knee-boarding,” said Cpl. John McDerby, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police boating safety coordinator. “Under Delaware law, any vessel towing a water skier, tuber or knee-boarder 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 or if the skier goes down.”
Other safety requirements for water skiing, tubing and knee-boarding:
· Personal watercraft (PWC) used for towing skiers, tubers or knee boarders must have enough seats – minimum of three – to carry the operator, observer and skier.
· Recreational water skiers, tubers and knee-boarders must wear life jackets.
· A tow line cannot exceed 75 feet in length.
· Observe all “slow-no-wake” areas.
· Avoid traveling at unsafe speeds, including congested areas.
· Observe marked “No Water Skiing” areas, which include all marked swimming areas, Assawoman Canal, Rehoboth-Lewes Canal and portions of Indian River Inlet, Roosevelt Inlet, Whites Creek and the channel through Masseys Landing.
· 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, please visit the Delaware_Boating Safety webpage.
DNREC’s Division of Fish & 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, wildlife and boating violations to the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police by calling 302-739-4580. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030 or online at http://de.gov/ogt.
Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Facebook, www.facebook.com/pages/Delaware-Fish-Wildlife-Natural-Resources-Police.Vol. 45, No. 273