Are we ready for summer 2023?
I can assure you the lake is ready for the summer migration as we merge the full-timers with the vacationers and part-timers who will soon fill the 20,000 acres and 350 miles of shoreline not to mention the grocery stores, restaurants (we have some new ones) and shopping areas, etc.
We are always reluctant to toot our own horn and I've learned long ago to never take credit for anything. People will notice. However, now is not the time to get complacent since we have already had one boater who tried to drive over (not under) the EF Bridge.
A recent article in a newspaper at a nearby lake in Virginia noted 22 boating safety accidents in 2022. My memory isn't what it was but I can think of less than 10 here on Lake Gaston last summer.
The facts are the water safety record on Lake Gaston year after year is very good. Why is that? I'd like to think boater safety training and awareness by the Lake Gaston Water Safety Council, the USCG Auxiliary Flotilla 9-3 monthly boater safety classes, the LGA Public Safety Committee and we can't forget NC Wildlife, Virginia Department of Water Resource Management and the first responders (both volunteer and paid) who are ready to respond on a moments notice. Surely all are contributing factors.
What can you do to prevent boating safety accidents this year? Of course, the answer is awareness and boat responsibly. No drinking when operating a watercraft and wear the PFD (it's mandatory for my visiting grandkids and young guests) down at the boathouse and while underway. Always a good reminder to be considerate of others with your wake.
It's all common sense. We just can't let our guard down this boating season.
For more safe boating tips, please visit the Lake Gaston Water Safety Council website: www.lkgwsc.org.
My wish to all is a safe and fun boating season. Let's all enjoy this beautiful lake and never forget to watch out for the other guy.
Past President, Lake Gaston Water Safety Council
In 2022, the Lake Gaston Water Safety Council . . .
Received funds from Dominion Energy, Virginia Beach Utilities, and Members, as well as partnered with USCG Auxiliary, 911 TaskForce, area VFDs, and VA & NC Wildlife to provide safety awareness around Lake Gaston.
We provided over 50 Lawn signs that are posted at ramps, businesses, along roadsides and at HOAs.
Funded the Life Jackets Loaner Program and worked with 7 area marinas/campgrounds to have jackets available to the public.
Updated brochures and promoted our new web address, lkgwsc.org.
We stuffed 1,000 Brochures Packets (with safety literature and maps, along with 911 Taskforce information), then distributed to participating realtors, businesses, and marina partners.
Held 8 Membership Meetings with 7 programs presenting local, state, and federal safety laws and updated changes.
The LGWSC Safety trailer was set-up for:
Seven weeks at John 3:16 (C.A.R.E.) Childrens Summer camp to assist USCG Aux. with presentations, reaching over 130 campers and 8 counselors.
Staffed at 6 locations where we met over 400 people and distributed brochures, maps, wristbands and whistles.
The Get Home Safely Program provided Fire Extinguishers and Throwables to USCG. This program keeps Coast Guard from having to escort boats to their dock and builds fellowship in the community.
Allocated funds to assist USCG Aux to acquire a Viper radio so they can directly communicate with law enforcement, EMS, and Fire.
We recently learned of the passing of Doug Hughes. Doug was very active with the LKGWSC and was president in 2016. From the family:
"This is Doug Hughes's granddaughter Brittany - his wife Beverly has asked that I share the sad news that Doug passed away yesterday with the groups that he was involved with. I know he was particularly concerned and invested in the work the Water Safety Council does - especially as it relates to "those damn jet skis".
Thank you for sharing below as you see appropriate with your members.
Douglas G. Hughes Sr., 78, passed away in the early hours of Sunday March 13 2022, after a battle with heart disease.
Doug, a native of Ithaca NY, is survived by his beloved wife, Beverly, whom he adored; his four sons, John, Richard, Douglas and Anthony; eight grandchildren; and two sisters, Cindy & Tracy.
Doug was loved and respected by all who knew him. Doug had a decorated Navy career of 29 years, from which he retired as a Master Chief.
After moving to Lake Gaston, he was ever active in retirement and devoted himself to civil service serving on multiple commissions, boards and in club positions. He was the Editor in Chief of the Gaston Gazette.
Doug built beautiful model planes and ships, was an avid fisherman, and won more card games than is quantifiable. He will be deeply missed.
A private service will be held for the family.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Habitat for Humanity or your local animal rescue.
The online guest register may be signed at hockadayfs.com
Arrangements are under the care of Hockaday Funeral and Cremation Service of Roanoke Rapids, NC."