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Sep 3 10 9:46 AM
High Rock Lake Pirate
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Sep 3 10 6:05 PM
( page of 2 )
Labor Day traditionally marks the end of the summer vacation season, and at High Rock Lake, area law enforcement officers will stage one final crackdown on inebriated boaters this holiday weekend.
Officers are encouraging everyone to “Boat safe, boat sober” — or suffer the consequences.
“We’re going to have a pretty good presence out,” promised Sgt. Anthony Sharum of the N.C. Wildlife Commission.
He said that thus far this year, officers have made 31 arrests for boating while impaired — BWI — on High Rock. The lake measures 15,000 acres and covers more than 500 miles of shoreline. There have been five drownings on the lake this summer, compared to none in 2009.
Officials with the Wildlife Commission estimate that alcohol is a factor in 20 percent of fatal boating accidents.
Sharum said that in the 10-county area he serves, there have been almost 100 arrests for BWI.
He said despite the number of arrests, officers have seen individuals take more seriously the issue of operating a boat while under the influence. Sharum said that more and more often, a boatload of people consuming alcohol will have a designated driver.
“It’s been promoted quite a bit,” Sharum said of warnings against people operating boats while under the influence.
Laws pertaining to alcohol consumption aboard a recreational boat vary slightly from those pertaining to an automobile. For one, an open container is permissible on a boat.
But, as is the case with the driver of an automobile, the operator of a boat faces automatic conviction of BWI if he registers a blood-alcohol reading of .08 or higher.
Sharum and other wildlife officers said it’s easier for the operator of a boat to become impaired than it is for the driver of a car. Studies show that because of the choppiness of the water and effects of the sun, boaters often take only a third as much alcohol as the driver of a motor vehicle to become disoriented.
Conviction of BWI is a Class II misdemeanor, which brings with it a maximum fine of $1,000 plus court costs. But the conviction doesn’t affect an individual’s driving privileges, and no points are reflected on one’s driver’s license.
Capt. Chris Huebner, state boating safety coordinator for the Wildlife Commission, vowed that High Rock isn’t the only lake in the state where officers will be cracking down on drunken boaters this weekend. He said patrols like that mentioned by Sharum will be taking place on many lakes in the state.
“We will concentrate on getting the impaired boat operator off the water,” Huebner said.
In addition to encouraging boaters not to drink and operate a boat, they’ve issued a number of other reminders:
• Wear a life vest. That’s a law for anyone under the age of 13 and a good safety tip for everyone.
• All watercraft must slow to no-wake speed when passing within 100 feet of a patrol boat displaying a flashing blue light. In narrow channels, watercraft must slow to no-wake speed within 50 feet.
• Anyone younger than 26 operating a vessel powered by a 10-horsepower-or-greater motor on public waterways must have successfully completed an approved boating safety education course.
Sep 7 10 12:23 PM
Sep 7 10 7:25 PM
Sep 7 10 8:43 PM
BOSS HAWG wrote:
Great Pics.. Wish I had been there!
Sep 8 10 10:59 AM
Yes, great pics! It was a nice weekend and turned out nice and warm on Monday. We rode up deep into Flat Swamp, under the Highway 8 bridge at Pebble Beach and saw the house that's built like a castle. After the long ride back on some rough water, my legs are sore! We still got in some surfing on Monday before coming home. I'm learning to do a 360 spin on the board now. I got it spun around, but lost the "groove" of the wave and couldn't hang on. Got a couple more weeks to get it down until next summer. Arrr!
Sep 9 10 10:00 PM
Hi Lee Edumakated !
Sep 9 10 11:03 PM
Sep 9 10 11:25 PM
Sep 10 10 2:36 PM
first born wrote:
Thank you guys; we have alot of fun trying to get great shots for our blogs. Thought we were heading up this weekend but struggling with cold so not sure if we are going to make it. -- Wesley
Sep 10 10 4:28 PM
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