To the Editor,
In my previous life, I took on the responsibility of Boating Safety Education and Enforcement, believing that it was best to educate first. Retired for some time now, I am still asked, on occasion, if the RCMP boat will be around?
Well, that question should be directed to Cumberland District RCMP but I do notice that some of our Tidnish River/Baie Verte boaters have forgotten or are not aware of a few things.
A couple Saturday's back saw the river fairly busy, with a mid-day high tide. A great day for boating but I have to wonder whether some boat operators realize what their capacity is and if they actually have enough PFDs for all onboard. When I see nine souls clambering about on board an 18-20 footer, I am a little unsure and when you add a couple more from the swamped river floaters, I have my doubts. Happy to be proved wrong.
Pontoon boats are a great way to enjoy the water and a stable platform when used properly, but their alias as"party boats" is a dubious distinction. Again the question looms about sufficient PFDs and in at least one instance, does the operator realize that five up foreword and two aft doesn't make for a well-balanced craft? Maybe that's why the bow almost dipped into the wake when you met another boat.
And the nice big pontoon rig with about five open bottles of Bacardi on the aft bar....seriously guys?
Truth be told, you can have open liquor on a boat, provided your vessel has sleeping quarters, a head and you are tied up at a wharf. Not underway or anchored midstream. A cold beer, as refreshing as it may be, is not listed as a requirement in the Boating Safety Guide. There is a reason for this.
Most have noticed there are speed limit signs at various places on the Tidnish River, beginning at Camp Tidnish. Some say 10 km/hr., some say 15 so there have been changes but 15 km/hr is the maximum speed allowed on the river as far as it is navigable. There are a few requests for "No Wake" with signs and buoys posted over the past couple years and it can be a busy little river so please bear this in mind for the sake of those along the shore, those tied up or anchored, and those making their way up or down stream. Once you clear Camp Tidnish, and enter the bay, away you go.
Let's make the rest of the summer an enjoyable time because we don't get much of it to work with.
Paul Calder, Amherst