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Reckless boating can be prevented at Lake Gaston

FARRINGTON, N.C. (WTVD) -- North Carolina's waterways are getting more crowded and more dangerous according to new data obtained by the ABC11 I-Team.

The new information from the N.C. Wildlife Commission's Law Enforcement Division reports 192 boating crashes in 2018, killing 35 people and injuring 97 others. The number of crashes is the most since 2006, while the number of fatalities is the most since 1998.

Read full article here at WTVD ABC 11

essica Baumann with NCSU Extension program

Jessica Baumann with NCSU Extension program was the speaker for July. The meeting was held at the Kennon House. She is the Lake Manager on behalf of the Lake Gaston Weed Control Council.

Always wear a life jacket on Lake Gaston

Information was recently provided by the NC Wildlife Commission about boating fatalities in 2018. The bottom line number is striking! "A total of 35 people lost their lives due to boating accidents last year, the highest number of vessel-related fatalities since 1990. Twenty-nine of the victims were not wearing a life vest", according to NC Wildlife.

While we think awareness is up, it would seem too many believe it can't happen. As manufacturers work to make life jackets more wearable and look jazzy, someone near the water still needs to pick it up and wear it. We all know the time to put a life jacket on is not when you are in the water.

So what to do. It's got to be a rule and if you are the skipper of your boat, walk the talk and practice what you preach.

Some good rules to live by and remember include:

Wear a Coast Guard-approved Personal Flotation Device (PFD) or a life jacket at all times when boating or on a personal watercraft. The Coast Guard advises a properly fitted life jacket is snug, yet comfortable, will not move above the chin or ears when lifted by the shoulders.

Throw, don't go. Be prepared to throw a floatation device or use a pole/tree branch to reach someone struggling in the water. Never jump in to save someone because you too could be pulled under. Our Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 9-3 offers a Safe Boating Class. Look for their link and more water safety information at www.LakeGastonWaterSafetyCouncil.com.

Please be careful out there.

Lake Gaston Water Safety Council

Children's PFD Life Jacket Loaner Program at Lake Gaston

Are Your Children Safe on the Waters of Lake Gaston? Water safety is extremely important - especially when it comes to our children. Lake Gaston property owners often have visits from friends and family, only to find they don't have enough or the right size life jackets to accommodate all. Thus the Children's PFD Life Jacket Loaner Program on Lake Gaston.

On a vessel that is underway (i.e. the vessel is not at anchor, nor tied to shore, nor is the vessel aground), children under 13 years of age must wear an appropriate U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket unless they are 1) below deck, or 2) within an enclosed cabin.

Life Jackets For Children Must Be The Proper Size By Weigh...

Children's life jackets are approved for specific weight categories. Check the "User Weight" on the life jacket's informational label to see for which of the four following weight categories the PFD is approved: "less than 30 lbs. (infant)", "30 to 50 lbs. (child)", "less than 50 lbs. (infant)", or "50 to 90 lbs. (youth)".

Note that, unlike adult-sized PFDs, children's sizes do not specify a "chest size".

Children's PFDs come in either Type II or Type III styles. The Coast Guard's brochure pointedly recommends Type II PFDs for children in the "30 to 50 lbs. (child)" range, especially for non-swimmers. Many come with a crotch strap to help keep the PFD from "riding up" and prevent the child from "slipping out through the bottom" of PFDs not adequately secured around the child. Many come with oversized collars or pop-up pillows of flotation material to support the head and many PFDs have "grab straps" attached to such collars but even some without collars have "grab straps" (used mostly on smaller size PFDs). Such "grab straps" can not only be grasped by the bare hand but boat hooks can also be used to effect a capture of the "grab strap" loop. "Youth" sized PFDs often come in Type III styles and often without "grab straps".

Remember... Life Jackets Float, People Don't

And don't forget you can get a loaner Life Jacket for Lake Gaston's 'THE CROSSING' event sponsored by O'Sail.

Lake Gaston Boating Safety Inspections and BLUE LIGHT LAW

According to the USCG, over 100 boardings were conducted for safety inspections over the Holiday Weekend. The most common violation the Coast Guard encountered was no registration card on board. Do you know where yours is located?

Several boaters were found to have FE and/or throwables that would not pass safety inspection. They were given replacements by USCG with LGWSC signage with each device that so the boater understood it came from the water safety council.

We were asked to remind all boaters of the BLUE LIGHT LAW:

When passing a law enforcement vessel that has stopped another boat, you must be at NO Wake if within 100ft. You are responsible for your boat's wake which causes damage to the law enforcement vessel or the stopped vessel.

New Board of Directors: Your new board of directors has already met. They are pursuing some ideas to further promote the LGWSC around the lake. Maybe a newsletter for members? Stay tuned... If you would like to write an article about a water safety-related topic please contact us.

Become a Member of the Lake Gaston Water Safety Council

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