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Boat Smart Advisory – Recreational Faux Pas

From the notebook of Tom Rau

It’s been a while since I sent you a Boat Smart advisory. Believe me, it’s not due to a lack of recreational boater faux pas. Like the one last night, Sept 7, 09 that occurred in my home town when a boater slammed into the Manistee seawall (see attached photo). Was it worthy of national press, even though this was the 6th Lake Michigan seawall collision this year? Hardly.

But the recent national media’s coverage of three fishermen adrift atop their capsized boat for eight days in the Gulf of Mexico apparently was newsworthy. The press, however; failed to get it right. While portraying the survivors as heroes, they were more like the six dimwit boaters that slammed into Lake Michigan seawalls.

The three fishermen did nothing to help the Coast Guard and joint rescue agencies find them despite a massive seven-day search that in scope was nearly the size of Wyoming. If the Coast Guard charged boaters like these for needless prolonged searches, I promise they would learn to boat smart—quickly

Go to my website and click on my latest column “Calling if off” tough” to under stand the edge to my words, and as a tax payer it might put you on edge considering the enormous cost of the search.


P.S. In the photo, notice the red aid to navigation light, which is to the left of the boat. Red Right Return is an old adage that has safely guided informed boaters into harbors at night when approaching from seaward. In other words, keep the red light to your right (starboard) not left as did this boater. But then what can you expect from a boater who is not required to know better as with the adrift fishermen in the Gulf.

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This entry was posted on Monday, September 14th, 2009 at 4:15 pm and is filed under Main Stories, Safety Series, US Coast Guard. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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