Over the years NAUTICAL LOG has published many Posts about boating safety and the importance of the Nautical Rules of the Road with just an occasional comment. Recently there was a series of ten (10) Posts on the Steering and Sailing Rules section which inspired not a single comment - disappointing and somewhat disheartening to say the least. Naturally NAUTICAL LOG wondered if this was a waste of time as there was no apparent interest in boating safety either from most boaters, at least those in this area, or from the "Concerned Authorities" of our incompetent U.S. Administration which has left our Nation virtually leaderless and rapidly declining on all fronts at the Federal, State and Local levels. So once again NAUTICAL LOG is ready to cease publication.
Recently in Biscayne Bay, FL we have had two catastrophic boating accidents resulting in deaths and these seem to have finally triggered a reaction from those who really count in all of this - the professional boating Captains.
The local Media has been covering these boating accidents with various levels of reporter boating knowledge from total ignorance to some basic boating knowledge and the various points-of-view expressed. Under the headline "An urgent push for safety" the "Miami Herald" Sunday July 13, 2014 edition covered the latest action. It is much needed as one of the persons (name withheld by NAUTICAL LOG but published by the Miami Herald ) interviewed stated:
"It's not the drinking. Everybody drink's" he said. " It's just that everybody is so irresponsible. I have one beer, sometimes two, and I stop. I'm responsible for my boat and the people".
Well this is just the attitude that gets people into trouble - no not everybody drinks when boating. In the State of Florida the boating adult BAC (blood alcohol level) for intoxication is 0.08 and your two beers could well do that nicely due to the motion action of the boat and the high temperatures. For the boating minor the BAC is 0.02. These are the BAC levels for being charged with BUI (boating under the influence) in the State of Florida. So perhaps you are not being as responsible as you think you are and therein lies a major part of the safe boating problem.
The two captains mentioned above are Bric Peeples and Terry Claus who have taken to Facebook ® to publish what they feel should be done. They have enlisted the help of local maritime attorney Bruce Mars, Washington, DC boating and fishing lobbyist Jim Donofrio and in addition they are contacting the FWC and members of the Miami-Dade County Commission.
- a night-time speed limit and idle zones
- mandatory licensing
- on-water education for recreational boaters
- harsh penalties for boating under the influence
- a change in lighting requirements for recreational boaters
- daytime idle speed around popular sandbars off Key Biscayne