The Delaware Way Boating Safety in DE

The Delaware Way Boating Safety in DE


– It’s that time of year again, welcome back to The Delaware
Way, I’m Larry Mendte. It is summer time,
everybody wants to get out on the water, on their boat. Here to talk about
boating safety in Delaware is Sergeant John
McDerby who is with the Delaware Fish and Wildlife
Natural Resources Police. That’s a mouthful. So what is the biggest problem this time of year
out on the water? – For us out on
the water right now it’s getting the
message out there is for people to get
their education, to make sure that
they have all their (mumbles) safety equipment
onboard their boats. Sometimes when people
are just getting the boat out for the first
time of the year, they’re more worried about
just getting on the water and getting their summer
going and enjoying themselves and they don’t take the time
to check their equipment from the year before, to
make sure nothing’s missing or it’s in serviceable
condition and it’s ready to go. So we wanna make sure that
everybody has all that all those things up
to date and ready so that they can have a
safe, enjoyable summer. – Now can you get fined if you don’t have
the proper equipment? – You can, you can
be ticketed for not having the proper
safety equipment on board or not having your (mumbles)
education card on board if you’re within the age
limits that it’s required for. – The Boater Education card,
is that a one and done deal or do you have to do it every couple years?
– [Sergeant] It is, for Delaware once
you take it initially any born after
January 1st of 1978 is required to have a Boater
Education Card in Delaware. And once you have that
card, it’s for a lifetime. You can always go back
and take the class again or there are additional
classes you can take other than the boater
education but the basic card does is good for the lifetime. – So you’re out in the
water, you stop the boats or you board the boats,
you tell me what you do, and you check for safety
equipment and the card do you need probable cause? Do they need to be
doing something wrong? – No, we can stop
vessels just to check their boater safety equipment. We’ll do targeted patrols
for boating safety to make sure that,
we’ll stop a boat to see if, make
sure that they have all their life jackets on board. A big thing that we’re,
something that we’re very big on is children’s life jackets. Any child that’s 12 and under has to have a life jacket
on at all times on the boat. So we definitely make sure
we check kids for that. We wanna make sure that the
jackets are the correct size cause if you put a child in a
life jacket that’s too large, an adult life jacket
on a small child, if they go overboard
and something happens or maybe they’re unconscious, that life jacket could actually
pop right up over their head and then it doesn’t
do them any good. So the proper size
and fit is important. – What are the biggest
problems out on the water? – A lot of times it’s
lack of experience and especially
with Delaware being such a vacation destinations, like down at the beach
in Sussex county. We have a lot of boaters
that are visiting us from other locations,
other states. So they go out on the water
and they may not be familiar. So they may be experience
boaters in Pennsylvania, New Jersey or New
York or wherever they may be visiting us from. But every water way is
a little bit different. You know there’s
sandbars (mumbles) in New Castle county, we have
a lot of submerged jetties. You know, there’s
hazards out there that people need to be aware of before they just go out there. You can’t just jump
on the boat and go, you have to do a little
research for yourself. – Yeah, especially
in Delaware you have so many different water ways. You have the Delaware
you can go out on, you have the bay, you have the ocean.
– [John] Right. – [Larry] And it must
all be different. The training has
to be different. – Yeah it’s… The basic training is the
same for the operation but yes, the different
waterways all have you know, different things to be aware of. And the different
environmental factors can affect you know, the
way your boat operates or the way you should,
you know, be out there and be careful while
you’re on the water. – [Larry] You can
rent a boat, right? – You can. In some locations,
there are some places down at the beach in Delaware
where they rent jet skis and they rent, like
(mumbles) boats and such. – So what do they do,
they just give you a quick safety (mumbles) – Yeah, they have a checklist
that they go through to make sure but they
are required to make sure that if you fall in our age
category for boater education, they won’t rent to you
unless you have that operator that falls into that
age group or has, you have to be able to provide
your boater education card. Anybody who takes the
boater education classes is actually required to
have that card with them on the boat while
they’re operating just like you would
your driver’s license. – And alcohol, big problem? – It can be, it can be. We’ve been pretty lucky with
the alcohol related accidents. We do have some each year. We try to do a good job of
getting the word out there and reminding people. Operating the boat
under the influence it’s a violation is .08
just like it would be for driving a car. But sometimes the
environmental factors of being on the water all
day can affect somebody much more, you know,
the wind and the heat, dehydrating you more,
the motion of the boat and sometimes the alcohol
affects are a little bit, people are affected
a little bit quicker then they were if
they were on land. – People are trying
to have a good time, they’re out on the boat. – [John] Right.
– They think there’s different sets of rules. I mean you run into
it all the time, but it’s dangerous. – [John] It is. – People can die, just
like on the roads. – Yup, exactly. And you know, the thing is with, when you’re boating on the
water unlike the roads, you know there’s no dotted
line down the middle, there’s no lanes. So you have to be
that much more aware and when you put alcohol, you know take away that
little bit of awareness, you could have boats coming
from all different directions and so there, you have
to really be aware of what’s going on and
paying attention out there. – For somebody that
wants to get into a boat, where do they get
more information? – They can visit our
website, de.gov/boatsafety. – Great, thank you so much. – Thank you.
– I appreciate it. – Thanks for having me today. – Sargent John McDerby,
boating safety education. He is with the Delaware
Fish and Wildlife Natural Resources Police. When we come back, we just said it was time of year for boating. It’s also the time of year
for the Delaware State Fair. It is much more
important this year because a lot of the music
festivals have gone away. Wait (mumbles) hear
the ax they have. It’s coming up on June
20th through August 30th. And next is somebody to
tell you all about it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *