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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. 

Brian Goldsworthy

Past President, Lake Gaston Water Safety Council 

The Electrical Safe Boat House
The Water Safety Council was formed, in part, because of electrical shock  around boathouses.
    Electrocution is still a real possibility at Lake Gaston.
    Improper installation,  faulty equipment,  or frayed wiring can allow electricity to flow into the water around the source.
    The accompanying picture shows a quick check for voltage on boat lift.
   The lift is up in the air not touching the water.
   The meter is set to a low range for AC voltage ( sorry, this $10 multimeter's lowest tange is 200)
    The black test lead is hanging in the water and the red test lead should touch a crossbar or the cable on the lift.
    If you don't feel comfortable testing this, ask an electrician.
   Space is too short to go into all of the possibilities of what could go wrong,  but here's a known problem.
   You may have two grounding rods connected in the electrical panel (breaker box) at the boathouse. They can be at different potentials and cause an unbalanced system.
[  ] Look for a grounding rod at the shore and trace it to the panel.
[  ] Now look for the power wires that are coming from your house. If the bare copper wire in that cable is connected, along with the wire that comes from the rod you found, that could be your problem.
[  ] Kill the breaker at house that feeds power to the boathouse.
[  ] Remove one of those grounds (either, but I'd  remove the one from the shore rod) and securely tighten the remaining ground wire and any other wires that were under the ground lug in the panel.
[  ] Turn the breaker back on and retest with the meter.
    If you are ever in the water and you feel a "tingle or buzz" swim back the way you came and have it checked out.

Wyatt Andrews
(Not an electrician)


In 2022, the Lake Gaston Water Safety Council . . .

Received funds from Dominion EnergyVirginia Beach Utilities, and Members, as well as partnered with USCG Auxiliary911 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 addresslkgwsc.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.
   Public locations
   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. 
Kind Regards,

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."




Become a Member of the Lake Gaston Water Safety Council

Memberships are $5.00 per person - $10.00 per family $10.00 per Business.