SAFE BOATING - A message from Lake Safety

Summer is almost here, and the Board and I would like to ask EVERY member to discuss the following with anyone that operates any boat, PWC, kayak, canoe, etc. in your home AND discuss and post / share with your guests and renters.

1) HAZARDS
There are HUNDREDS of hazards on Belleau Lake, a few are marked, but the vast majority are not! Become an expert about the area you are in, and please remember, the lake and its hazards are constantly changing!

2) WAKE
As the operator of a power vessel, YOU are responsible for your wake! If you tip a kayaker, or injure someone or damage something with your wake - it’s on you. BE RESPECTFUL and BE AWARE OF YOUR WAKE!

3) DISTANCE
If operating a boat closer than 50 yards (150 feet or 1/2 of a football field) from shore, swimmer, ski craft, boat, kayak, raft, dock, etc. YOU MUST SLOW TO HEADWAY SPEED (6 MPH maximum). This applies to PWCs also (which was the #1 complaint last year).

4) JET SKI vs PERSONAL WATER CRAFT (PWC)
Jet Skis - Have been banned on Belleau Lake since 1990 by the state "RSA 270:74-a PWCs - Only "Personal Water Craft" with a capacity of THREE or more people are permitted.

All boater regulations also apply to PWC operators. This includes (but is not limited to) boater safety training, safe speed, safe operation & safe distance. Please discuss these with ALL operators. Again, the #1 complaint I hear is inappropriate speed, distance and wakes from PWCs.

5) BASIC NAVIGATION RULES
Power boats ALWAYS yield to non-powered vessels and people. Know the Rules of Navigation. They're your responsibility. Important examples are: The boat to the RIGHT has the right of way whenever 2 boats meet / cross. If passing (overtaking) another boat - the boat being passed has the right of way (even if they turn in front of you). Maintaining a proper lookout and a safe speed are all a part of the navigation rules and are an important part of safe boat operation.

6) NH STATE POLICE MARINE PATROL DIVISION
Enforcement of rules fall on NH State Police Marine Patrol Division. Please call Marine Patrol at 603-267-7256 if there is a problem that cannot be handled "neighbor to neighbor." Register your boat annually and inspect & maintain all safety gear in working order. Secure the red “kill” switch lanyard around your wrist or have clipped to your person whenever underway.

7) BOATER SAFETY EDUCATION
It is a requirement for any operator of a motorized vessel over 25HP to complete a “Boating Safety Course” recognized by the State of NH. A link to register for one such online course is: https://www.boat-ed.com/newhampshire/

Let’s all have a fantastic and safe summer while being a responsible and respectful member of our lake community!

REFERENCES

http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/XXII/270/270-74.htm
https://www.nh.gov/safety/divisions/nhsp/fob/marine-patrol/restricted.htm

Thank you,

Steve Bischof

Lake Safety Director