Tag Archives: Safety

Fishing Access Areas Are Not Safe for Swimming

Fishing Access Areas Are Not Safe for Swimming

 

Fishing Access Areas Are Not Safe for SwimmingVermont’s Fish & Wildlife Department reminds the public not to swim at fishing access areas due to safety concerns. The primary use for the fishing access areas is to launch and retrieve motorboats.

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department maintains over 180 developed fishing access areas on lakes and rivers throughout the state. These areas have permitted uses determined by law, and swimming is not one of them.

Fish & Wildlife regulations prohibit certain uses of fishing access areas including, but not limited to — swimming, littering, camping, picnicking, making a fire, parking of vehicles not related to priority uses, and commercial activity.

The access areas were purchased and are maintained with funds from the sale of fishing licenses and motorboat registrations, as well as a federal excise tax on fishing equipment, fishing tackle, and gasoline for motorboats. These funding sources explicitly prohibit activities that are in conflict with fishing and boating.

“It’s great that people want to get out in the water, but a boat ramp is not the right place to go swimming,” said Mike Wichrowski who oversees the Fishing Access Area Program. “There’s a reason motorboats aren’t allowed in swimming areas, and swimming isn’t allowed at fishing access areas — it’s simply not safe.”

In recent weeks Vermont game wardens have responded to several incidents involving people swimming at fishing access areas. In some cases people, including children, were swimming right at the boat ramps while boats were being launched, risking injury or preventing the launching of boats.Fish and wildlife access sign Fishing Access Areas Are Not Safe for Swimming

“We understand that people want to go swimming, especially during hot weather, but we are urging folks to swim at locally approved swimming areas,” said Colonel Jason Batchelder. “Finding a safe swimming area is easy in most communities. Just ask at a general store or other place where people gather.”

The fine for swimming at an access area is $162.


Officials Warn About Safe Boating

Officials Warn About Safe Boating

Officials Warn About Safe Boating

Lake Champlain Water Temperatures are Deceptively Cold

Two recent deaths in cold waters have prompted safe boating warnings from officials. As temperatures increase this week, officials are concerned about increased recreational use on Lake Champlain, and are cautioning the public to take precautions.

When a canoe overturned on Malletts Bay last week, only two of the three boaters were able to swim to shore. The third man died. None of the three were wearing personal flotation devices (PFD’s).

“People get lulled into a false sense of security when it may be 70 or 75 degrees out, the water temperature is still 44 degrees currently right now,” said Corporal Michael Akerlind, Colchester Police Department. “And it takes a matter of minutes to be exposed to that water before you start losing your fine motor control and gross motor control, your ability to swim, your ablity to stay on the surface goes away just in a matter of minute.” 

Cold water is usually regarded as any water with a temperature below 77-75 degrees, so Lake Champlain is considered cold water year-round,

 

 

Deceptively Cold Water in Lake Champlain

Although the National Weather Service in Burlington monitors the water level and temperature in Lake Champlain and they make that information available to the public on their website,  those numbers can be deceiving.

“Even though we say the water temperature today was 47, there is a lot of upwelling going on where cold water refreshes into the warmer climates and that upwelling temperatures of the lake is only in the mid 30s so there may be one location that is 47 degrees and you just move 5 feet away and the water temperature is 39, so really it is just extremely dangerous this time of year.” said Scott Whittier, National Weather Service.

According to the National Weather Service, the lake temperature won’t hit the 50’s until the beginning of June. Temperatures will hit the 60’s by the end of June, but won’t get into the 70’s until late July or early August. Again officials say make sure you have a PFD with you, preferably on you.

The water temperature of Lake Champlain is still in the low to mid 40’s, which can send someone into hypothermia very quickly. According to the Coast Guard, the water was just 46 degrees when the man died Saturday morning.

 

Cold Water Safe Boating Safety Precautions

The U.S. Coast Guard has seen a rise in incidents out on the water, especially with paddle crafts and is urging boating safety.

“Being overturned is probably the most common one you see,” said Petty Officer Chris Bowman. “Things can get rough out there pretty quickly and if you’re not aware of what the weather is, what the forecast is, as things turn they can obviously become very precarious for you as well,” 

According to  Bowman there are precautions you can take to prevent tragedy, including checking conditions before you head out.

Officials Warn About Safe Boating with PFD“No matter what the situation is, whether it’s bright and sunny out, no winds, whatever it is, wear a life jacket, That extra bit of flotation, even if you go unconscious and into hypothermia, it will help you float. It will keep you alive and maybe long enough for someone to come out and save you,” Petty Officer Chris Bowman said. “The second-best thing you can do is know the conditions around you. Know the water temperature.”

Bowman added that you should always have a float plan in place, letting someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be back.

 

If the above isn’t reason enough to wear your PFD, you should also be aware that it’s the law.

Wear Your PFD – It’s The Law

Vermont boating laws require that all vessels carry one U.S. Coast Guard-approved Type I, II, III or V PFD for each person on board. Vessels 16 feet in length or longer must also have one U.S. Coast Guard-approved Type IV PFD on board. Also, children under 12 years of age must wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved Type I, II or III PFD at all times while any vessel is underway.

 

Be Tick Smart

be tick smart logo

 

With the return of warmer weather you’ll want to spend more time enjoying the outdoors. More time outside though, can mean an increased chance of contact with an unwelcome resident of the Lake Champlain Basin – ticks.

Aside from being unpleasant, ticks are dangerous due to the diseases that they can transmit. Lyme disease is among the more dangerous of tick-borne diseases. Because tick are most active during warm months, tick-borne illnesses are most often transmitted from early spring to late fall.

There are six tick species known to bite humans in the Lake Champlain region, and five can transmit diseases. But nearly all tick-borne diseases reported are caused by the blacklegged tick, also known as the deer tick.

 

Be Tick Smart Blacklegged tick

Blacklegged tick or Deer tick (Ixodes scapularis)
Transmits: Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, Powassan virus disease, and Borrelia miyamotoi disease.

 

 

4 Tips to be Tick Smart

Here are four recommendations to make you tick smart and decrease your risk of infection.

REPEL

    • Duration™ Permethrin 0.5% RTU

      Use an EPA-approved tick repellent on skin.

    • Apply permethrin to clothing.
    • Wear light-colored pants and long sleeves.

INSPECT

  • Check daily for ticks on yourself, your children and pets.
  • Shower soon after spending time outdoors.

REMOVE 

Be Tick Smart - How to Remove a Tick

How to Remove a Tick
Click Image

  • Use tweezers to remove tick, do not scrape it off.
  • Wash hands and bite area with soap and water.
  • Put clothing in dryer on high heat setting for 10 minutes.

WATCH

  • Watch for symptoms of tick-borne diseases (fever, muscle aches, fatigue and joint pain).
  • About 70% of people with Lyme disease develop a rash.
  • If you display any of these symptoms, contact your health care provider.

 

* Avoid folklore remedies such as “painting” the tick with nail polish or petroleum jelly, or using heat to make the tick detach from the skin. Your goal is to remove the tick as quickly as possible–not wait for it to detach.

 


Fishing Access Areas Not Safe for Swimming

Fishing Access Areas Not Safe for Swimming

Fishing Access Areas Not Safe for Swimming
The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department reminds the public not to swim at fishing access areas due to safety concerns. The primary use of the fishing access areas is for launching and retrieving motorboats.

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department maintains more than 180 developed fishing access areas on lakes and rivers throughout the state. These areas have allowed uses determined by law, and swimming is not one of them.

The access areas were purchased and are maintained with funds derived from the sale of fishing licenses and motorboat registrations, as well as a federal excise tax on fishing equipment, fishing tackle, and gasoline for motorboats. These funding sources explicitly prohibit activities that are in conflict with fishing and boating.

Fish & Wildlife regulations prohibit certain uses of fishing access areas including, but not limited to — swimming, littering, camping, picnicking, making a fire, parking of vehicles not related to priority uses, and commercial activity.

“It’s great that people want to get out in the water, but a boat ramp is not the right place to go swimming,” said Mike Wichrowski who oversees the Fishing Access Area Program. “There’s a reason motorboats aren’t allowed in swimming areas, and swimming isn’t allowed at fishing access areas — it’s simply not safe.”

Vermont game wardens have responded to several incidents in recent weeks involving people swimming at fishing access areas. In some cases people, including children, were swimming right at the boat ramps while boats were being launched, risking injury or preventing the launching of boats.

“We understand that people want to go swimming, especially during hot weather, but we are urging folks to swim at locally approved swimming areas,” said Colonel Jason Batchelder. “Finding a safe swimming area is easy in most communities. Just ask at a general store or other place where people gather.”

The fine for swimming at an access area is $162.

 

Coast Guard saves 3 from overturned boat on Lake Champlain

Coast Guard saves 3 from overturned boat on Lake Champlain

A submerged catamaran remains at the scene of a rescue in Lake Champlain, Vermont, June 8, 2016. A crew from Coast Guard Station Burlington pulled three people from the submerged hull after the 14-foot boat capsized in heavy winds about a mile from shore. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

A submerged catamaran remains at the scene of a rescue in Lake Champlain, Vermont, June 8, 2016.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

The Coast Guard responded to an overturned vessel and three people in the water Wednesday on Lake Champlain, Vermont.

Coast Guard Sector Northern New England watchstanders received a call at approximately 2:15 p.m. from a person on land reporting a capsized 14-foot catamaran in Appletree Bay about one mile northwest from shore.

Coast Guard Station Burlington launched a crew aboard a 26-foot boat who arrived on scene at about 2:45 p.m. and found three people sitting on the hull of the overturned boat.

The survivors reported heavy winds in the area caused the craft to capsize. They reportedly had safety equipment on board but were not dressed for the water, which was about 63 degrees. They said they were cold and one reportedly had suffered a minor cut. The station crew transported them back to Station Burlington where they were each evaluated by awaiting Emergency Medical Service and released.

Station Burlington issued a safety marine broadcast to warn nearby boaters of the overturned vessel.

“This is a perfect example of how quickly things can change at sea,” said Chief Michael Faivre from Sector Northern New England’s command center. “It’s an unpredictable environment, and being dressed appropriately for both the air and the water is essential.”

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