||06-22-2013 5:19 AM
So I have family in town and they asked to watch me board then have a surf session. I have a decent run, and we have stopped off to the side and are starting to fill the bags for surfing. I have myself plus 6 other people in the boat (all of which have grown up, 20+ years or spent all their lives living on the water). We look up and see this mid 90's teal monstrosity coming right at us. At first we think he is coming over to ask about my wakeboard run, which happens frequently. We then notice that he is not slowing down or even moving, he is coming right at us (bow to bow). We yell, blow the horn, and try to get his attention. The boat does not change course. When he was about 5-10ft away he finally looks up, and turns hard left, which swings his backend right into the side of my boat. The guy freaks out, and his kneeboarder who he was intently watching was right next to my boat, and was ok. Everyone was ok in my boat, if not totally shaken up. He had hit right on my rub rail, and the fiberglass in my rub rail screws will attest it was a decent hit. I get his information, as him and his wife then try to tell me they are some of the safest people on the water.
Now up to this point I have already had a pretty bad day, someone just hit my new boat, 2 feet to one side and my whole boat would of been dead. When I get back to the dock I call the Sherriff to make a report to ensure my insurance company believed the story (just for documentation). The Sherrif's office is helpful, and connect me directly to Wildlife, at which point it all goes south. The person that answers the phone tells me I have to call this the officer on duty. I call the officer on duty who then says he cant come out unless there is at least $2000 dollars worth of damage to the boats. I then have to explain to him that with fiberglass I have to have it inspected to find out, and I am looking for this to be documented. This whole time you can tell he doesnt want to come out to take a report. He then said I will have to call you back. About 45 min later he finally calls me back and said he is going to 'try' to make it over to me. About 45 min later he finally shows up. We look at the boat, and he tells me there is no way he did enough damage to my boat for a report, and that he cant go around to every little bump and tap that occurs on the lake. He then asks me to show him my life jackets, fire extinguisher, etc. I am now pissed, I have almost died, my new boat got hit, and he is now worried about my docked boat and the life jackets and fire extinguisher? I show him all this, and he then asks for my registration and ID. I give it to him and he said he will be back and he was going to look at the other guys boat. So I go up to the house and eat some dinner. About 2 hours later, it is just shy of 11pm at this point, I call the officer and ask if he was coming back because I would like to go home soon. He said he would be heading my way soon. About 30 min later (the guy that hit me lives about 5 min away by land), he shows up with my ID and registration, and writes me a ticket for not having my numbers displayed properly (which I received 2 days earlier, right after my guests arrived, from the decal guy). So he gives me the ticket warning me that I was in violation etc. The officer did mention that he wrote the other guy a ticket and because the other guy was going to fix his boat himself there is no damage for a report.
So lets review, I almost get run over, I try to do the right thing for insurance, and I end up getting a ticket. I am pretty sure that the officer lost site of what occurred here. I am glad the officer was more worried about being able to make his ticket quota than even asking if everyone was ok. After being told that he may not be able to make it to me, and being more worried about my safety equipment than with the collision of the boat, I now feel less safe than I did yesterday about officers. I always knew they were jerks but this is a whole new low in my book of not serving the people. Moral of my story, if you get hit and you even question if the damage is over $2000, dont bother with Wildlife they will just find a reason to write you a ticket.