As the person who responds to “info at lwa dot org”, I get questions periodically. Sometimes they are about how to deal with things that are dumb. They can either hurt the lake or they can hurt or kill people. Boating regulations are designed to keep people safe. A few of them don’t apply to our lake but most do. If the water is very cold and you are out in a kayak, you are required to wear (not just carry) your life jacket. Makes sense, you will have enough trouble if you tip over and don’t need the added problem of putting on your life jacket. But there are things that people do that also are dangerous for our lake or human life.
1) Water Skiing at dusk because you may not see the person who just fell into the water. Do you want to run them over trying to find them?
2) Not having enough observers or towing too many riders. You need ONE observer for EACH person being towed by a boat so that you can find each person who falls into the water. The boating regulations also say that you can’t have more than TWO people being towed because it is hard to keep track of more than two people in the water. Did you want to run over your child or best friend?
3) Not staying 150 feet from other boats unless you are at “headway” speed. If you go past another boat too closely, if everything works fine, it is OK but if your boat has a problem you could hit them. (Think of a jet ski hitting a “strange” wave.) Or you may come too close to a smaller boat and your waves can tip them over. Any tipped over boat is a real problem! It is also scary for small boats to be approached at fast speed by any boat. You may know that they are there but they probably don’t know that you are “just being friendly”.
4) Not paying attention to what you might bring into the lake if you take your boat from one lake to another. Most Lake Wentworth property owners only put their boats into our lake but if you go elsewhere, you can bring a whole list of invasives with you. Did you see that spiny water flea or piece of millfoil or zebra mussel egg or asian clam? Wash your boat, let it dry and if it can possibly have a pool of water in it (yes, kayaks are at risk), then you need to be careful unless you want to hurt our lake. Washout the boat/bilge with water and let it dry completely. A canoe is great because it is easy to clean it and if you carry it on the top of your car, it dries well and you can see any problems. Most other boats can have invasives hiding in them……
Only you can prevent boating accidents and invasives from invading.