WESTERN ERIE COUNTY, WCO Brook Tolbert / DWCO Randy Leighton|
Perch are heavily schooled North of Walnut Creek in 48 to 52 feet of water. Look for the large packs of anchored boats. A number of boaters are fishing for Walleye and Perch after sunset. Remember, regulations require that an "all around white light" be displayed at anchor. Running lights are required when trolling or underway.
Lake Erie water temperature as of this writing is 73 degrees.
In another incident, two young men were out on Lake Erie in a 14 foot rented jon boat. Wave conditions had built to 4 to 6 feet when the men were unexpectedly tossed from the boat. A rapid and unbalanced shifting of the weight in the boat combined with the wave action was determined to be the cause of the men being thrown overboard. The two individuals had PFDs on board however, they were not wearing them and the PFDs remained with the boat and well out of reach. The boat was later recovered with the PFDs still on board. It was estimated that the two men had to tread water for nearly 15 minutes (a significant amount of time for even a good swimmer) without any floatation aides before another boat came to render assistance. The second boat, also 14 foot, thoughtfully had visual distress signals (flares) on board and were able to get them off. The individuals in the second boat were wearing their PFDs however in their attempt to pull the first two men on board, the second boat capsized. The situation place all four individuals in the water for nearly 4 hours before they were finally rescued. The second two individuals having the good sense to stay with their capsized boat and be wearing their PFDs until help arrived spared the lives of all four men. Fortunately minor hypothermia became the only cause for concern.
This situation demonstrates that although regulations dictate that a wearable PFD must be on board for each individual, they are of little use if the are not worn in just such a situation. Had the men on the second boat not been wearing their PFDs a significant tragedy would have been in the making. Another important point here is that the second boat being under 16', was not required to have VDS on board although he elected to carry them, and in this case was able to use them. We may often sound redundant in the reminders of required and recommended safety equipment, however, this near deadly situation is a perfect illustration of how necessary proper safety equipment is.
Boats propelled by machinery, including electric motors, must be registered, and they must properly display numbers and a boat registration validation decal. This includes all motorboats regardless of the boat's length and type of motor.
No other number may be displayed on either side of the bow. These numbers may not be removed, altered, tampered with, or defaced except by the owner or representative. Documented vessels, as well as kayaks, sculls, sailboards, and other low-volume boats of similar design, are exempt from the display of numbers but they must display the validation decal. Inflatable boats may carry their numbers and validation decal on boards lashed to each side of the bow. Canoes are not exempt and must display the numbers and the decal.
Often, boaters tell us that they "just sent in their renewal" or "I have my canceled check" and is it okay to boat. The response to this is the boat is considered to be legally registered when the validation sticker is on the boat and the registration card is received and signed. A boat without a current validation sticker and numbers affixed to both sides the bow and a signed registration card are no more legal than an automobile without a current license plate sticker and signed registration card.
Unpowered boats using Commission lakes and access areas must be registered OR display a Commission use permit OR display a State Parks launch or mooring permit.
Boat titles are issued when a boat is sold or when ownership is conveyed. Titles are required for motorboats with a model year of 1997 and newer, except for those that are powered by an outboard motor that are less than 14 feet in length. All 1997 or newer personal watercraft, are also subject to the titling requirement. Voluntary titling is available for any other boat.
WESTERN CRAWFORD COUNTY, WCO Joe Russell