Boaters reminded to avoid distracted boating, improper lookouts

Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police this week reminded boaters to always be safe on the waters by avoiding distracted boating and improper lookouts.

“Inattentive operation of a vessel in Delaware includes both distracted boating and improper lookouts. We urge boaters to put down their electronics, talk to your passengers about a distraction-free ride, and watch for other boaters and swimmers around you. Any vessel operator found to not give their full time and attention to the operation of the vessel or maintain a proper lookout while operating the vessel will be charged with inattentive operation,” they said.

Some other ways to avoid distracted boating and improper lookouts include, they said:

• Eat before you go! Focus becomes divided when you have one hand on the helm and one on your meal.

• Have a passenger handle adjusting the music so you as the operator are not worrying about changing the stations to find the best song!

• Assign a passenger to be an additional lookout as waterways can become congested. Having another pair of eyes for other vessels and people in the water is always beneficial.

• Make sure there is always another person on board who can operate the vessel safely and legally in case you become fatigued from all the sun and fun.

• Never drink and boat.

To report boating, fisheries, and wildlife violations, call the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police 24-hour dispatch line at (302) 739-4580 or 1-800-523-3336.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between June 3 and 9 made 3,193 contacts with anglers, boaters and the general public, issuing 60 citations. Officers responded to 87 complaints regarding possible violations of laws and regulations or requests to assist the public.

Recreational fisheries citations issued during the week included use of a crab pot without required turtle excluder, crab pot tampering, three citations for possession of undersized blue crabs, eight citations for possession of sponge blue crabs, four citations for trespass to fish, seven citations for unlicensed fishing, two citations for no Fisherman Information Network (FIN) number and possession of undersized white perch.

Boating and boating safety citations issued during the week included three citations for no life jacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law, four citations for operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets, failure to observe slow no wake and inattentive operation of a motor vessel.

Public safety and other citations issued included clamming in a prohibited area, operating a motor vehicle at an unreasonable speed, following a motor vehicle too closely, possession of drug paraphernalia, 11 citations for trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area, littering, operating an unregistered motor cycle, two citations for operating an unregistered motor vehicle, two citations for theft under $1,500, two citations for conspiracy 3rd degree, and local fugitive.