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May 29, 2015     Cape Gazette
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May 29, 2015

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FRIDAY, MAY 29 - MONDAY, JUNE 1, 2015 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT. Cape Gazette LOCAL WATERWAYS Education, outreach and enforcement are keys for maintaining good record By Ron MacArthur on boats where the operator had not received boating safety instruction. Delaware is among the safest Under Delaware law, all per- places in the nation to boat. sons born on or after Jan. 1,1978, Officials gathered May 15 in must successfully complete a Lewes to draw attention to the boating safety course in order effort made by state agencies to to operate a boat in Delaware keep the state's waterways safe. waters, including personal wa- At the same time, the Lewes- tercraft. Rehoboth Canal was filled with Participating in the event with boats taking part in a flounder Coats and Saveikis were Fish & tournament. Wildlife Natural Resources Po- "Delaware's waterways are lice officers, Lewes Republican among the First State's top tour- Sen. Ernie Lopez, Milton Repub- ism destinations, and we can be lican Rep. Steve Smyk, Lincoln proud that our state consistently Republican Rep. Dave Wilson, has one ofthe lowest boating ac- U.S. Coast Guard and USCG cident rates in the country," said Auxiliary members, USCG Aux- Delaware Department of Natural iliary volunteer boating safety Resources and Environmental instructors, and volunteer boat- C9ntrol Deputy Secretary Kara ing safety instructors with the Chats at an event to kick off Na- U.S. Power Squadron's Nanti- tional Boating Safety Week. coke Sail & Power Squadron of Boating safety education, Seaford. outreach and enforcement of Delaware's 8-hour basic boat- regulations are the keys to the ing safety course, which fulfills state's safety record, Coats said. the state's mandatory boating Division of Fish & Wildlife safety course requirement, is Director David Saveikis said of- offered in varied locations state- ricers stress compliance above wide in one to four sessions. enforcement whenever possible. Several providers also offer a Chief Robert Legates of the Delaware-approved online ver- Division offish & Wildlife Natu- sion of the boating safety course. ral Resources Police said in 2014 Boaters who complete the course state had one boating-related receive a boating safety certifi- fatality and 24 reportable boating cate, which, for anyone required accidents, to take the course, must be car- , tate law requires children age ried with them while boating. 12 and younger wear a life jacket For more information, includ- while underway in any vessel on ing Delaware's boating safety Delaware waters, and statistics class schedule, access to the on- sff'pport their use. line Delaware boating handbook According to 2014 U.S. Coast and other boating information, Guard statistics, 418 people search Delaware Boating Safety, d owned in recreational boat- or contact Cpl. John McDerby ing "accidents nationwide,at 302-739-9913 or email john. Nearly three-quarters of all boat- i -related fatalities nationwide drowned - and more than 80 percent of them were not wear- ing life jackets. Alcohol use is tile leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents and was listed as the leading factor .... ir 21 percent of the 610 boating- related fatalities in 2014. Recreational boat operators are permitted to consume alco- hol, but the same blood alcohol limit used to measure intoxi- cation in automobile drivers applies to boat operators: 0.08 or above is legally intoxicated. Taking a boating safety course can also improve skills and re- duce the chances of an accident. Coast Guard statistics show that in states where instructional data was available, 80 percent of reported fatalities occurred TWO OF DNREC'S FISH & WILDLIFE NATURAL RESOURCES POLICE BOATS prepare tours of the Delaware Bay during the kickoff for National Sate Boating Week. Delaware Fish & Wildlife Police are at the helm of patrol Victor. On May 15, Lewes-Rehoboth Canal at Roosevelt Inlet is a busy place, i members Den Shown taking part in the safe boating ceremony May 15 in Lewes are (I-r) Rep. Steve Smyk; Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Chief Robert Legates; Rep. Dave Wilson; DNREC Deputy Secretary Kara Coats; Division of Fish & RON MACARTHUR PHOTO.( to give officials and medi~ New DNREC Deputy Secretary Kara Coats wa for her chance to speak during the National 5~ Boating Week kickoff event. i i i WHAT CAUSES ACCIDENTS? The five primary contributing factors for boating accidents are the following: Operator inattention Improper lookout Operator inexperience Excessive speed Mechanical failure David Saveikis; Sen. Ernie Lopez; and Coast Guard Aux , Neild, Warren Huff, Cindy Chaimowitz and John Ballant