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Old    Jason Johnson (JasonDJ)      Join Date: Mar 2010       09-21-2010, 6:02 PM Reply   
This is crazy...

U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS who manages Pine Flat lake (near Fresno, CA) among many other lakes in CA is requiring life jacket wear for most boaters next year at Pine Flat:

When Pine Flat implements the new life jacket policy in April 2011, life jacket wear (U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets) will be required for:
1. Everyone swimming more than 100 feet away from the shoreline.
2. Everyone aboard all non-motorized vessels, regardless of length, at all times.
3. Everyone aboard motorized vessels up to 16-feet in length, at all times.
4. Everyone aboard motorized vessels 16-feet in length or larger when the vessel is underway

http://www.spk.usace.army.mil/organi...dy_31AUG10.pdf
Old    Jason Johnson (JasonDJ)      Join Date: Mar 2010       09-21-2010, 6:12 PM Reply   
Below is the full release.

NOTE: Pine Flat Lake is the Corps’ third test region for the study. Corps lakes in the Northeast and the Southeast are also participating in the study. This study will inform a decision by Corps headquarters of whether to change its recreation policy to require life jacket wear.

---------------------------------------------------------
Pine Flat Lake to require life jacket wear for 2011 recreation season

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – From April 1, 2011 until October 31, 2011, Pine Flat Lake will require life jacket wear for most boaters and some swimmers as part of a multi-year U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study of its agency-wide life jacket policy. This study will inform a decision by Corps headquarters of whether to change its recreation policy to require life jacket wear.

While the Corps’ water safety education and outreach efforts have reduced the annual fatality rate at its parks from a high of 500 in the 1970s to its current rate of approximately 150, continued efforts have not succeeded in further reducing that rate. Statistics kept from 1989 to present show that more than 92 percent of drowning victims on Corps waters were not wearing a life jacket.

“This study is about saving lives,” Pine Flat Lake Park Manager Tom Ehrke said. “Visitor safety is our top priority, and we’re proud to be taking part in this study to help make our parks even safer.”

Pine Flat Lake is the Corps’ third test region for the study, and adds perspective on policy enforcement in California and the West. Corps lakes in the Northeast and the Southeast are also participating in the study.

As part of the Pine Flat study, the U.S. Coast Guard conducted life jacket wear-rate observations under Pine Flat’s existing life jacket policy in July and August 2010, and performed similar observations at Millerton Lake for study comparison. Wear rates will also be observed at both lakes during the policy enforcement period, although the policy will apply only on Pine Flat Lake. Findings from the California study will be included in the larger study by Corps headquarters, where a decision about a permanent life jacket policy change will be made based on study results and feedback from partner agencies and the public.

When Pine Flat implements the new life jacket policy in April 2011, life jacket wear (U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets) will be required for:
1. Everyone swimming more than 100 feet away from the shoreline.
2. Everyone aboard all non-motorized vessels, regardless of length, at all times.
3. Everyone aboard motorized vessels up to 16-feet in length, at all times.
4. Everyone aboard motorized vessels 16-feet in length or larger when the vessel is underway (under main propulsion). Passengers in fully-enclosed cabins (in houseboats, for example), are not required to wear a life jacket. Life jackets are required for pilots or passengers in any exposed area of the vessel when the vessel is underway (under main propulsion). Life jackets are not required when the vessel is stationary, or powered by a trolling motor.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the nation’s largest provider of recreation on federal public lands.
Old    Frank Wolter (wofrankwo)      Join Date: Jul 2009       09-21-2010, 6:22 PM Reply   
man that sounds brutal ..... an adult having a lifejacket on to drive a boat sitting in alot of the small chairs let alone having to wear one just being in the boat

it would be great to see the number of drowning victims that were in boats under way as compared to drownings non related to driving boats ....... gives me the willies!!
Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       09-21-2010, 7:53 PM Reply   
Oh no! We ride Hogan and that is administered by the Corp. I hope they don't expand the test there!
Old    Robert Garcia (ragboy)      Join Date: Aug 2007       09-21-2010, 8:36 PM Reply   
Example of embedding that PDF Jeff.

Old    Robert Garcia (ragboy)      Join Date: Aug 2007       09-21-2010, 8:39 PM Reply   
Everyone has to wear a life jacket while underway, thats tough. If I remember correct, that lake can get a bit nuts. Maybe its just for that lake. It also says its a study. So they may be trying it in a few places, then see what they discover.
Old    Jason Johnson (JasonDJ)      Join Date: Mar 2010       09-22-2010, 9:21 AM Reply   
It states: "Findings from the California study will be included in the larger study by Corps headquarters, where a decision about a permanent life jacket policy change will be made based on study results and feedback from partner agencies and the public."

I assume this means a permanent change to their life jacket policy for all lakes they manage. Therefore, please express your concerns and opinions about the proposed changes to the policy as the change will also be based on feedback from the public.

I actually agree with the first three proposed changes, but the fourth is overkill and I bet a very small % of the deaths are related to people who were in a motorized vessel 16-feet in length or larger when the vessel was underway.

I rarely hear of any deaths occurring at the lake and the only ones I do hear about is someone who was on the shore, was drinking beer and didn't know how to swim, then decides to go swimming and does not succeed. The majority of these deaths happen on the Kings River below the Pine Flat Dam.
Old    Akadirtbikingdad (wakeboardingdad)      Join Date: Aug 2008       09-22-2010, 6:27 PM Reply   
It started this year in Mississippi, it sucks, I hope it dies and doesn't spread. Luckily, our favorite riding spot where we live, is not under the control of The Corp!

Last edited by wakeboardingdad; 09-22-2010 at 6:30 PM.
Old    Akadirtbikingdad (wakeboardingdad)      Join Date: Aug 2008       09-22-2010, 6:36 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by wofrankwo View Post
it would be great to see the number of drowning victims that were in boats under way as compared to drownings non related to driving boats ....... gives me the willies!!
What would be better would be to see the statistics where alcohol was involved or even in the boat.

Better enjoy surfing while you can. It'll be determined that the huge wakes make the lake too dangerous. Ever see how a drunken fishermen negotiates the wake at Mach 3?
Old    Craig F (craig_f)      Join Date: Feb 2008       09-22-2010, 7:44 PM Reply   
Hmmm, wonder how this will affect the Mississippi River,. while the Corps doesn't patrol it technically the entire thing is under their domain.
Old    Akadirtbikingdad (wakeboardingdad)      Join Date: Aug 2008       09-22-2010, 10:52 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by craig_f View Post
Hmmm, wonder how this will affect the Mississippi River,. while the Corps doesn't patrol it technically the entire thing is under their domain.
I'd have to bet it is not going to fall under the rule. The Tombigbee does not fall under this rule, but I am not sure who patrols it. A friend of mine was at Sardis who was in his boat and not moving and the officer was more than just a jerk to him. There were no other issues (speeding, wreckless driving, beer in the boat) either. In fact I think he was working on the boat when the ranger pulled up. Barge traffic is probably the reason some bodies of water are not falling under this rule.

Last edited by wakeboardingdad; 09-22-2010 at 10:57 PM.

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