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Press: 2004 News Releases

12/31/2004

Contact: June Iljana
(916) 651-5692
e-mail: pubinfo.dbw.ca.gov

December 31, 2004

Teak Surfing Outlawed in California


 

Sacramento – Effective Jan. 1, 2005, California a new law will prohibit the dangerous practice of operating a vessel’s motor or generator while a person is teak surfing, platform dragging, or bodysurfing behind the vessel. “Teak surfing” or “platform dragging,” is a nationwide fad that involves pulling a person through the boat’s wake while the person holds on to the back of the boat.

"Teak surfers are exposed to carbon monoxide from the boat’s engine, which can cause them to lose consciousness in seconds," said DBW Director Raynor Tsuneyoshi. “Teak surfers don’t wear lifejackets because they say it interferes with body surfing, so when they faint from the carbon monoxide they will drown. If they don’t drown, they can still die because the carbon monoxide replaces oxygen in the blood."

The Anthony Farr and Stacey Beckett Boating Safety Act of 2004, (AB 2222), authored by Assemblyman Paul Koretz (D-West Hollywood) and signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger in September, imposes a fine of up to $100 on anyone who operates a vessel’s engine or generator while a person is holding on to the swim platform, swim ladder, or swim step on a boat. The law provides exceptions for briefly assisting with the docking or departure, exiting or entering the vessel, or engaging in law enforcement or emergency rescue activity.

Carbon monoxide (co) is a colorless, odorless gas in motor or generator exhaust. Nationwide, there were 493 boating-related carbon monoxide deaths and non-fatal poisonings between 1990 and 2003. Thirty-four of the poisonings occurred in California. DBW recommends that boaters avoid swimming or wading alongside or behind a boat while the engine or generator is running.

The symptoms of CO poisoning may include severe headache, dizziness, confusion, nausea, fainting and death. The symptoms can be similar to the effects of intoxication or too much sun, though, and most victims will not recognize the danger before it is too late. If CO poisoning is suspected, get the victim fresh air immediately and seek medical care.

An additional provision of AB 2222 that will not take effect until May 1, 2005, requires the placement of carbon monoxide warning stickers on new and used boats that are sold.

For a pamphlet on the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and a warning decal, visit www.dbw.ca.gov, call (888) 326-2822, or write to Department of Boating and Waterways, 2000 Evergreen Street, Suite 100, Sacramento, CA 95815.

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Note: A graphic representation of teak surfing is available at http://www.dbw.ca.gov/PressRoom/.



12/22/2004

New Laws For Measuring Motorboat Noise


Sacramento – Beginning Jan. 1, 2005, boating law enforcement officials will have a safer and more efficient way to measure and enforce existing maximum noise levels for recreational motorboats.

“The new law makes it easier for law enforcement officers to identify boats that are too loud,” said Raynor Tsuneyoshi, Director of the California Department of Waterways. “It does not change established decibel limits for motorboat noise and it is not more restrictive than existing law.”

The law, authored by Assemblyman George Nakano (AB 1555) and sponsored by the Bluewater Network , updates the enforcement testing protocol for motorboat noise. Developed by the Society for Automotive Engineers, the new method enables officers to measure the boat’s noise level at one meter while the boat is idling. The previous testing method required driving the boat at full throttle though a testing lane. It was seldom used because it was unsafe, awkward and inefficient.

The bill also extends the existing motorboat noise law to include coastal waters within one mile of the coastline. Previous boat noise law only covers inland areas. In addition, boat manufacturers must now put a muffling system that ensures the vessel meets existing sound restrictions on all new boats other than those made solely for racing.

A related measure also authored by Nakano (AB 2566) and sponsored by Recreational Boaters of California, makes the vessel’s owner responsible for a motorboat noise violation rather than the operator who may be renting or borrowing the vessel. AB 2566 will also go into effect on Jan. 1, 2005.

“The idea is to make sure the boat owner is the one cited when the boat is not properly muffled because the owner maintains the vessel and makes decisions about how it operates,” explained Tsuneyoshi.

The Department of Boating and Waterways promotes on-the-water safety and helps develop convenient public access to the waterways through programs funded by vessel registration fees, boating fuel tax dollars and boating facility construction loan payments.



12/14/2004

Contact: June Iljana
(916) 651-5692
e-mail: pubinfo.dbw.ca.gov

December 14 , 2004

DBW Adds New Depth to Yacht and Ship Crew


The Department of Boating and Waterways’ Yacht and Ship Brokers Licensing Unit once again has a full crew.

Mary Thomas took over the unit as Lead Investigator in June. Thomas, who worked in DBW’s Law Enforcement Unit for the past five years, investigates consumer complaints and oversees the unit. David Trillo, the former lead investigator, left the Department in February.

Derrick Yee joined DBW as an consumer complaints investigator in December. Yee came from the Department of Corrections where he was a background investigator.

Fahim Buksh was hired in November and is responsible for handling the broker licensing process. Buksh joined DBW from the Department of Personnel Administration where he worked in contracting for the State Training Center.

Marinda Isley provides continuity in the Yacht and Ship Unit, having served there for more than two years. She handles the salesperson licensing process from conducting examinations to issuing licenses.

The Yacht and Ship Brokers Unit provides a consumer protection function for boaters involved in brokered transactions of used vessels through the licensing of brokers and salespersons and through investigations to ensure compliance with the law.

DBW’s Yacht and Ship Unit may be reached directly at the following numbers:

Mary Thomas , Lead Investigator (916) 327-1825
Derrick Yee, Investigator (916) 263-8195
Marinda Isley , Salespeople (916) 327-1839
Fahim Buksh , Brokers (916) 327-1838

 # # #

Editor: A photo of the team will be available Monday, December 20 th on the DBW Website at http://www.dbw.ca.gov/PressRoom/



12/02/2004

Boating Infrastructure Grant Awarded to the City of Avalon


SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Boating and Waterways (DBW) announced today that the City of Avalon Harbor Department on Santa Catalina Island in Los Angeles County will receive a $100,000 National Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG). The grant funds will be used to upgrade Avalon’s fuel dock, replace an existing dinghy dock and add a public restroom.

“The federal government provides these funds to states for projects that will improve recreational opportunities and safe harbors for transient boaters. The facilities also help the economies of waterfront communities,” said DBW Director Ray Tsuneyoshi.

Avalon Harbormaster Brian Bray said, “Public restrooms are something we’ve always wanted to put on the fuel dock, and a refurbished dinghy dock landing will be invaluable to visiting boaters as a safe and convenient means to get ashore, making access to recreational activities in Avalon easier.”

BIG provides funds to states for projects to install or upgrade visitor tie-up facilities for recreational boats 26 feet long or more. The grant program is open to all marinas as long as there is public access. Eligible project categories under the program include the renovation or construction of visitor docks, restrooms, gangways, and dockside utility hookups.

According to Kevin Atkinson , a DBW infrastructure grants administrator, the Avalon project was selected for funding based on the same point system the federal government uses. “Avalon’s combination of a clear concise presentation, a demonstrated public benefit and a large cash match were probably the biggest factors,” he said. The City of Avalon is contributing $40,000 to the project.

In addition to the Tier I funds, like the Avalon grant, that are awarded through a competitive process within each state, roughly $4 million remains available nationally in Tier II BIG funding. Each state has collected applications for this program and submitted them to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for scoring and ranking. The national awards will be announced in the Spring of 2005.

The Department of Boating and Waterways enhances public access to the waterways and promotes on-the-water safety through programs funded by vessel registration fees, boating fuel tax dollars and boating facility construction loan payments.

# # #

Editors: For additional information on any of the above topics and more, visit the Department of Boating and Waterways' Web site at www.dbw.ca.gov.



11/23/2004

Contact: June Iljana
(916) 651-5692
e-mail: pubinfo.dbw.ca.gov

November 23, 2004

Commission approves $3,503,000 in Boating Facility Projects


At a meeting in San Diego Thursday, the California Boating and Waterways Commission approved $3,503,000 in Department of Boating and Waterways loans and grants to improve boating infrastructure. The approved projects are:

San Diego County – Pepper Park Boat Launching Facility
The Commission approved a grant of $103,000 initial funding for a $793,000 project to construct a new boat launching ramp, install boarding floats, seal and stripe the parking area, renovate the restroom and add signage. This grant is approved on the condition that the Port of San Diego use its funds for four of the eight boat launching lanes.

San Diego County – Shelter Island Boat Launching Facility
The Commission approved a grant of $200,000 initial funding on a $1,675,000 project to construct a new boat launching ramp, install new boarding floats, renovate the maneuvering area and turnaround, construct a personal water craft launch ramp and add signage.

San Francisco County – San Francisco Marina West Harbor
The Commission approved a $1,500,000 loan for the first phase of a $16,500,000 project to reconstruct berths, upgrade dock utilities, install gangways with security gates, dredge, construct a breakwater and improve buildings.

Orange County – Dana Point Harbor Marina
The Commission approved a $1,500,000 loan for the first phase of a $15,000,000 project to reconstruct more than 700 berths, install gangways, fortify the bulkhead, replace dock utilities, reconfigure a parking area and construct a new harbormaster office and public restroom building.

Orange County – Dana Point Harbor Boat Launching Facility
The Commission approved a $200,000 grant for the first phase of a $2,541,000 project to reconstruct the boat launching ramp, reinforce a bulkhead wall and cut-off wall, and install boarding floats, a boat washdown area, slope protection, drainage, lighting and signage.

Commissioners also re-elected Joseph P. Sharpe as Commission Chair and Warren Rupf as Commission Vice-Chair.

Department loans and grants require the consent of the seven-member Boating and Waterways Commission, appointed by the Governor. Funding for the projects is derived from the taxes paid by boaters on the purchase of gasoline for their vessels.

# # #

Note: Photos of the project sites are available at http://www.dbw.ca.gov/PressRoom/



11/12/2004

Contact: June Iljana
(916) 651-5692
e-mail: pubinfo.dbw.ca.gov

Nov. 12, 2004

Boating and Waterways Commission to Meet November 18, 2004


The California Boating and Waterways Commission will meet November 18, 2004, in San Diego, to consider approving $3,503,000 in Department of Boating and Waterways loans and grants and to elect officers for 2005.

“This is the first opportunity we’ve had to meet in Southern California in quite a while and I look forward to hearing from the boating community there,” said Boating and Waterways Director Raynor Tsuneyoshi. “The loans and grants the Commission will consider this week are representative of the great need for improvements in California ’s public access boating facilities .”

The meeting will be held at the Marriott Hotel, 333 West Harbor Drive, in the Cardiff Room. The meeting is open to the public and is scheduled to convene at 8:30 a.m. The proposed projects are:

San Diego County – Pepper Park Boat Launching Facility
The Commission will consider a grant of $103,000 initial funding for a $793,000 project to construct a new eight-lane boat launching ramp, install boarding floats, seal and stripe the parking area, renovate the restroom and add signage.

San Diego County – Shelter Island Boat Launching Facility
The Commission will consider a grant of $200,000 initial funding on a $1,675,000 project to construct a new boat launching ramp, install new boarding floats, renovate the maneuvering area and turnaround, construct a personal water craft launch ramp and add signage.

San Francisco County – San Francisco Marina West Harbor
The Commission will consider a $1,500,000 loan for the first phase of a $16,500,000 project to reconstruct berths, upgrade dock utilities, install security gates on gangways, dredge, construct a breakwater and improve buildings.

Orange County – Dana Point Harbor Marina
The Commission will consider a $1,500,000 loan for the first phase of a $15,000,000 project to reconstruct more than 700 berths, install gangways, fortify the bulkhead, replace dock utilities, reconfigure a parking area and construct a new harbormaster office and public restroom building.

Orange County – Dana Point Harbor Boat Launching Facility
The Commission will consider a $200,000 grant for the first phase of a $2,541,000 project to reconstruct the boat launching ramp, reinforce a surf wall and cut-off wall, and install boarding floats, a boat wash down area, slope protection, drainage, lights and signage.

A field trip to several local boating facilities is scheduled for November 17, 2004 , at 8:30 a.m. and the public is invited to participate on a space available basis. If you would like to participate or would like more information, please contact Jared Zucker at (916) 327-1777.

Department loans and grants require the consent of the seven-member Boating and Waterways Commission, appointed by the Governor. Funding for the projects is derived from the taxes paid by boaters on the purchase of gasoline for their vessels.

# # #

 

Note: Photos of the project sites are available at http://www.dbw.ca.gov/NewsRel.htm



10/28/2004

Partnership to Offer Recreational Opportunities for Disabled and Disadvantaged Children



10/21/2004

Contact: Megan Standard
(916) 263-0780
e-mail: pubinfo.dbw.ca.gov

Oct. 21, 2004

Montezuma Slouogh Boat Lock In Operation


The California Department of Water Resources advises that it will operate the boat locks at their Salinity Control Structure, located 2.2 nautical miles from the easterly end of Montezuma Slough at coordinates, 38°05’36”N121°53’07”W, starting October 12, 2004 through May 31, 2005, contingent on hydrologic conditions.

From October 12, 2004 until at least November 11, 2004 , the stop logs will be in place across the maintenance channel and vessels can only pass through the boat lock. Boat lock operating hours will be from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. from September through May, until further notice.

The boat lock signal is a standard traffic light. Whistle signals to request opening are two prolonged blasts followed by two short blasts.

Channel 13 VHF-FM will be monitored during hours of operation. Full instructions on passage including an emergency phone number are posted on site.

The boat lock is located on the east side of the channel and provides the following clearances: 16 feet horizontally; 9 feet over the sill at MLLW; 70 feet in length between sector gates; and no vertical impairment. The piers will be marked by fixed red lights and other parts of the structure by fixed yellow lights.

Mariners should be aware a shoal area exists along the east bank on both sides of the structure extending approximately 50 feet out from the existing levee. Marker buoys have been placed to identify the area. Mariners are also advised that the Salinity Control Structure operations can at times create currents at the site greater than currents in other areas of Montezuma Slough.



08/24/2004

Contact: David Johnson
(916) 263-0780
e-mail: pubinfo.dbw.ca.gov

August 24, 2004

Marina Operators: Anticipated Deadline for Boating Infrastructure Grants is October 15, 2004


Marina owners who want to upgrade their transient boat docks should apply to the Department of Boating and Waterways for the Federal BIG Program (National Boating Infrastructure Grant Program). BIG will fund projects to install or upgrade transient tie-up facilities for recreational boats 26 feet in length and over. The grant program is open to both publicly owned and privately owned marinas.

With the recent passage of the federal Highway Bill, the Department of Boating and Waterways anticipates that the announcement of the 2004 Federal Boating Infrastructure Grant Program (BIG) will be made any day. Due to the late passage of the bill, the BIG grant program will have a short time frame in which to submit proposals, with a deadline of October 15, 2004.

The BIG Program is a competitive program, with all proposed projects competing against each other on a national basis. Nationally, $8 million in BIG funding is available this year each year. Eligible project categories under the program include the renovation or construction of visitor docks, restrooms, gangways, and dockside utility hookups.

The anticipated application deadline is October 15, 2004. Applicants must submit a grant proposal to the Department of Boating and Waterways following the federal guidelines, available at the DBW website, at www.dbw.ca.gov/Funding/BIG.aspx.

Applicants should review the federal guidelines first to determine if they are able to meet the necessary requirements. After reading the guidelines, those interested in competing in this program should contact Kevin Atkinson, at (916) 327-1788. The Department will announce any changes to the deadline on the DBW Web site as information becomes available



08/12/2004

Contact: Megan Standard
(916) 651-5692
e-mail: pubinfo.dbw.ca.gov

August 12, 2004

B&WC Approves $10,047,000 in DBW Boating Facility Projects


At a meeting in Sacramento today, the California Boating and Waterways Commission approved $10,047,000 in Department of Boating and Waterways loans and grants for the construction and improvement of boating facilities. The approved projects are:

Contra Costa County - Antioch Marina Boat Launching Facility

A $280,000 grant for the first phase of a project to construct a $3,769,500 boat launching facility, including a new four-lane boat launching ramp, three boarding floats, a parking area with 129 vehicle-trailer spaces, a restroom, utilities, drainage and erosion control, and signage.

Los Angeles County - City of Long Beach Downtown Marinas

A phase-five loan of $6,875,000 to the City of Long Beach for a $31,718,000 project to improve the Long Beach Shoreline Marina and the Rainbow Marina, collectively known as the Downtown Marinas. The project includes demolishing and replacing a docks system, replacing utilities, installing new piling, widening and replacing handicapped-accessible gangways and docks, and ancillary items.

Los Angeles County - City of Long Beach Alamitos Bay, Basins 2 and 3

A $500,000 loan to the City of Long Beach for the initial phase of a $43,500,000 project to improve Basins 2 and 3 at Alamitos Bay, including the demolishment of the existing berths and replacement with 1,093 new berths, repaving the parking areas, constructing new restroom facilities, dredging and repairing the seawall.

Monterey County - Monterey Bay Boatworks Breakwater Cove Marina

A $900,000 loan to the Monterey Boatworks Company, Ltd., for a marina project that includes 22 new boat slips, and a new harbormaster building.

San Luis Obispo County - Port San Luis Boat Launching Facility

A $1,409,000 grant to the Port San Luis Harbor District for a boat launching project including replacement of a boat hoist, draw-works, controls and rigging; construction of a new paved parking area with 28 vehicle-trailer spaces, a new restroom; utilities; and signage.

San Mateo County - Oyster Point Marina Boat Launching Facility

An $83,000 grant to the San Mateo County Harbor District for the first phase of an $828,000 improvement project to include demolishing the existing boat ramp and constructing a new two-lane ramp, a new boarding float, and repaving the parking and staging areas.

Department loans and grants require the consent of the seven-member Boating and Waterways Commission, appointed by the Governor. Funding for the projects is derived from the taxes paid by boaters on the purchase of gasoline for their vessels.



08/03/2004

Contact: Megan Standard
(916) 651-5692
e-mail: pubinfo.dbw.ca.gov

August 3, 2004

Boating and Waterways Commission to Meet August 12, 2004


The California Boating and Waterways Commission will meet on August 12, 2004, in Sacramento, to consider approval of $10,047,000 in Department of Boating and Waterways loans and grants. The meeting will be held at the Hilton Sacramento Arden West, 2200 Harvard Street, in the Eagle Room. The meeting is open to the public and is scheduled to convene at 8:30 a.m. The proposed projects are:

Contra Costa County - Antioch Marina Boat Launching Facility

A $280,000 grant for the first phase of a project to construct a $3,769,500 boat launching facility, including a new four-lane boat launching ramp, three boarding floats, a parking area with 129 vehicle-trailer spaces, a restroom, utilities, drainage and erosion control, and signage.

Los Angeles County - City of Long Beach Downtown Marinas

A phase-five loan of $6,875,000 to the City of Long Beach for a $31,718,000 project to improve the Long Beach Shoreline Marina and the Rainbow Marina, collectively known as the Downtown Marinas. The project includes demolishing and replacing a docks system, replacing utilities, installing new piling, widening and replacing handicapped-accessible gangways and docks, and ancillary items.

- City of Long Beach Alamitos Bay, Basins 2 and 3

A $500,000 loan to the City of Long Beach for the initial phase of a $43,500,000 project to improve Basins 2 and 3 at Alamitos Bay, including the demolishment of the existing berths and replacement with 1,093 new berths, repaving the parking areas, constructing new restroom facilities, dredging and repairing the seawall.

Monterey County - Monterey Bay Boatworks Breakwater Cove Marina

A $900,000 loan to the Monterey Boatworks Company, Ltd., for a marina project that includes 22 new boat slips, and a new harbormaster building.

San Luis Obispo County - Port San Luis Boat Launching Facility

A $1,409,000 grant to the Port San Luis Harbor District for a boat launching project including replacement of a boat hoist, draw-works, controls and rigging; construction of a new paved parking area with 28 vehicle-trailer spaces, a new restroom; utilities; and signage.

San Mateo County - Oyster Point Marina Boat Launching Facility

An $83,000 grant to the San Mateo County Harbor District for the first phase of an $828,000 improvement project to include demolishing the existing boat ramp and constructing a new two-lane ramp, a new boarding float, and repaving the parking and staging areas.

Department loans and grants require the consent of the seven-member Boating and Waterways Commission, appointed by the Governor. Funding for the projects is derived from the taxes paid by boaters on the purchase of gasoline for their vessels.



08/02/2004

Governor Signs 04-05 Budget


The 2004-05 state budget Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed on July 31 includes $66,113,000 in expenditures for the Department of Boating and Waterways.

"Governor Schwarzenegger's budget will fund needed public access boating facility projects, as well as support for boating law enforcement and programs to enhance safety for the state's boaters," said Director Raynor Tsuneyoshi.

Boating and Waterways' budget includes $16,500,000 for loans to public agencies to construct and improve marinas; $3,500,000 to be made available for loans to private sector marina owners to construct and improve marinas; $10,996,000 for grants to public agencies to construct and improve boat launching facilities; $2,598,000 for capital outlay projects to construct and improve boating facilities on state lands; $9,075,000 in aid to local agencies for boating law enforcement; $1 million for beach erosion control; $500,000 for abandoned watercraft abatement grants; $8,111,000 in federal funds, for a variety of boating safety, education and access programs including vessel sewage pumpout education and grants, and a coastal data information program.

The Department's budget for the 2003-04 fiscal year totaled $84,323,000.

Funding for DBW is derived primarily from boating gasoline taxes, vessel registration fees, and loan repayments.

###



07/20/2004

Governor Appoints Four to Boating and Waterways Commission


 

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today announced the following appointments:

Lenora Clark, 57, of Discovery Bay, has been appointed to the Boating and Waterways Commission. She is a retired postmaster for the United States Postal Service and a member of the Ebony Yacht Club, where she was appointed as a delegate to the Pacific Inter-Club Yachting Association. Clark is also a member of the board of the Recreational Boaters of California. Clark is a Democrat.

Jon Fleischman, 36, of Irvine, has been appointed to the Boating and Waterways Commission. He is the deputy director for public affairs and media relations for the Orange County Sheriff's Department and also a reserve deputy sheriff assigned to the Uniform Patrol and Harbor Patrol Divisions. Fleischman is a Republican.

Dr. C.P. "Bud" Johnson, 68, of Long Beach, has been appointed to the Boating and Waterways Commission. He is the president and owner of Harborlight Enterprises Inc. in Long Beach. Dr. Johnson is a Republican.

H.P. "Sandy" Purdon, 61, of San Diego, has been appointed to the Boating and Waterways Commission. He is the president of H.P. Purdon & Company, Inc., a management firm handling San Diego tidelands marinas. Purdon is a member and past president of the California Marina Recreation Association and a member and past chairman of the San Diego Port Tenants Association. Purdon is a Republican.

The commission positions require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem.



06/24/2004

July 4th Holiday Weekend Boating Safety Tips


Nearly 20% of all boating accidents in California occur during the three Summer holiday weekends of Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day. As Independence Day approaches, the Department of Boating and Waterways (DBW) is issuing a reminder to boaters to stay safe on the water.

Most boating accidents are caused by operator inattention, inexperience, and speeding. Collisions are the most common type of boating accident and operator inexperience and inattention are the leading causes. Remembering a few simple boating rules of the road, such as keeping a sharp lookout for other boat traffic, can help prevent collisions on congested waterways.

"Many of these rules are similar to those for cars," said DBW Director Raynor Tsuneyoshi. "Stay to the right side of channels. In a crossing situation, the person on the right has the right-of-way. When you meet another boat head-on, each boater should alter course to the right."

In congested areas, intoxicated operators and passengers can increase the already high risk of accident. Alcohol and boating can be a deadly mix, especially when combined with stressors in the marine environment, such as sun, glare, wind, heat, and boat and engine noise. Last year, 21% of boating fatalities were alcohol related, and half of those who died were passengers whose intoxication contributed to their deaths.

River recreationists should be aware that in some areas the water is still cold from late snowmelt. The current may be swift, strong and not always visible. River conditions can change quickly due to weather and water releases, resulting in increased danger. California's rivers and lakes have rocky bottoms and sudden drop-offs, a combination that has led to children drowning in as little as four feet of water.

The dangers of exposure to carbon monoxide (CO) from boat engine exhaust have been the subject of recent safety campaigns by the Department and by the U. S. Coast Guard, following the emergence of a popular and dangerous fad, known as "teak" or "drag" surfing: holding onto the swim platform (where CO can accumulate) of an underway vessel and letting go to bodysurf the wake. Doing so over even a short period of time has led to fainting resulting in drownings in the boating environment.

Parents should keep a watchful eye on children playing in or around the water, and are advised to put life jackets on little ones when they're wading as an added safety measure. When boating, children under the age of 13 must wear their life jackets when aboard a boat 26 feet long or smaller, while the vessel is under way.

Adults should also take precautions for their own safety. In a commonly seen accident scenario, parents insure the children are wearing life jackets, but neglect to wear life jackets themselves, instead relying on their swimming ability to keep them safe.

Swimming out too far, or attempting to retrieve gear in the water, and being swept away by currents, are all scenarios when the persons would have survived if they had been wearing their life jackets.

The July 4th weekend could be safer this year if boaters remember to maintain a proper lookout, wear their life jackets, and watch the alcohol.

###

Editors: For additional information on any of the above topics and more, visit the Department of Boating and Waterways' Website at www.dbw.ca.gov.



06/23/2004

Contact: Dan Weggeland
(530) 547-4951

June 23, 2004

USCG Auxiliary Makes Shasta Safer with VHF Radio Network


The public is invited to attend the commissioning of Coast Guard Auxiliary - Lake Shasta Radio, the new marine-band VHF radio network, on Thursday July 1, 2004, at 11:00 a.m., at Bridge Bay Resort & Marina, located immediately off of I-5, just north of Redding, California.

Among the local, state and federal officials expected to attend the ceremony are Raynor Tsuneyoshi, Director of the California Department of Boating and Waterways; Jim Pope, Shasta County Sheriff; Captain Jeff Pettit, Commanding Officer, USCG Group Humboldt Bay; Chuck Kemnitz, Director of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary; and Kristy Cottini, District Ranger, U.S. Forest Service.

In addition to speakers, the schedule of events includes:

  • 10 a.m.- helicopter arrives from Coast Guard Air Station, McKinleyville - goes on static display at Bridge Bay
  • 11 a.m. - Commissioning ceremony - Tail of the Whale restaurant, Bridge Bay
  • 12:45 p.m. - a simulated Search and Rescue will be performed for the public. A Coast Guard rescue swimmer enters the water as a victim. After locating the swimmer, a patrol boat responds and brings the swimmer onboard. Finally, the helicopter (a Dolphin) is called, arrives on-scene, lowers a line and retrieves the swimmer from the deck of the patrol boat for swift delivery to a medical facility.
  • 1:15 p.m. - a C-130 from CG Air Station Sacramento does a low-altitude - (200 ft.), slow-speed - (130 knots) pass and makes a simulated equipment drop to a "vessel in distress." This could be a raft, dewatering pump, first aid or advanced medical supplies, etc

USCG Auxiliary Flotilla 03-09 in Redding, California, under the direction of Richard A. Behrendt, Flotilla Commander, and Charlie Duncan, Immediate Past Flotilla Commander, raised almost $10,000 to fund the creation of a VHF radio network on Lake Shasta. A reservoir with a capacity larger than San Francisco Bay, Shasta is a popular boating destination, with more than 1,000 houseboats on the lake. The new radio system is available for distress calls, weather information, hailing, etc., and will allow for faster rescue response times and enhance recreational boating safety in the area. A grant from BoatUS, the cooperation of the U.S. Forest Service, and a gift from the Lake Shasta Boat Owners' Association made this project possible.

With the volunteer assistance of local telecommunication engineers and the expert advice of the Auxiliary's district communications officer, the flotilla designed a VHF marine-band radio network and purchased related digital equipment. In the process, they obtained the support of all federal, state and local agencies with public safety jurisdiction on the lake for this undertaking. The U.S. Forest Service gave permission to use their existing high-altitude sites and the Coast Guard assigned marine-band frequencies for the network's use.

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is an organization of expert volunteers who teach and promote boating safety under the aegis of the U.S. Coast Guard. Anyone interested in joining the Auxiliary can contact: Charles M. Duncan, Jr., (530) 241-6939, cmduscgaux@aol.com.




05/28/2004

The California Department of Boating and Waterways has released its 2003 Boating Safety Report, on recreational boating accidents.


The California Department of Boating and Waterways has released its 2003 Boating Safety Report, on recreational boating accidents.

In 2003, 963 accidents were reported, the highest annual total on record. These accidents involved 502 injuries (up from 468 in 2002) and 61 fatalities (up from 53).

  • Open motorboats were involved in 51% of all accidents.
  • PWC were involved in 27% of all accidents, and PWC-related fatalities have increased by nearly 60% to 12 (up from 7 last year).
  • Fishing-related fatalities remained high (31% of all fatalities).
  • Water-skiing accidents increased 38%, accounting for 17% of all accidents, 28% of all injuries, and 10% of all fatalities.
  • Alcohol was involved in 21% of boating fatalities. In several cases, the actions of intoxicated passengers caused or contributed to fatalities.

"One reason for the increase in accidents is improved accident reporting," explained DBW Director Raynor Tsuneyoshi. "We're also seeing a trend towards more towing sport-type accidents, as wakeboarding and kneeboarding increase in popularity. Fishing-related fatalities also remained high.

"Another disturbing trend is an increase in the number of PWC fatalities," continued Tsuneyoshi. "While the number of PWC accidents rose only slightly, the number of fatalities increased from 7 to 12, the highest number on record. In addition, 70% of the personal watercraft involved in accidents were borrowed or rented. This information will help us to tailor upcoming safety campaigns to reduce the number of boating accidents, injuries and fatalities in California. "

For more information, and a press kit showing regional statistical summaries, visit www.dbw.ca.gov.

###



05/24/2004

Pacific Gas And Electric Company and Department of Boating and Waterways Warn of California River Dangers During Spring Snowmelt


Pacific Gas and Electric Company and DBW are cautioning Californians planning outdoor activities for Memorial Day weekend to be aware of the potential dangers of the cold, spring runoff into the state's many rivers. Recreationists are cautioned to consider unpredictable river characteristics before entering any river.

"As Californians kick start their summer with the long Memorial Day weekend, we want to remind them to be vigilant of the dangers swift, cold water can pose," said Randy Livingston, the lead director of Pacific Gas and Electric Company's power generation unit, including the utility's vast hydroelectric system. "What may appear as an inviting pristine mountain creek can turn hazardous unless river users take the appropriate safety precautions."

The Sierra snow pack will continue to melt with summers increasing temperatures resulting in flows that create treacherous conditions in many of the state's streams and rivers for all recreationists - waders, swimmers, rafters, boaters, fishers and even hikers cooling off at waters' edge. The cold and often unpredictable flows cause unexpected currents that can trap unsuspecting or even experienced river users underwater with potentially fatal results. In addition, the ice-cold snowmelt feeding into the waterways can dramatically impair a swimmer's ability.

"One way you can help stay safe is to wear a life jacket," said DBW Director Ray Tsuneyoshi. "This can help to keep you afloat should you get caught in rushing water. You should also always swim or recreate with another person."

If you get caught in the water and swept off your feet:

  • Stay calm, lie on your back and do not try to stand up.
  • Drop any items that can weigh you down.
  • Keep your feet up and pointed downstream to avoid hitting rocks and to prevent foot entrapment.
  • Go with the current, moving diagonally across the current until you reach the shore or can grab onto something to anchor you. Stay there until help arrives.
  • If trapped on an island, stay there and signal for help.

For more information about Pacific Gas and Electric Company, please visit the company's web site at www.pge.com.

For more information about the Department of Boating and Waterways, please visit the agency's website at www.dbw.ca.gov.



05/24/2004

DBW Improves Boat Launching at Pine Creek


A newly refurbished Pine Creek Boat Launching Facility on the Sacramento River is open to the public courtesy of the California Department of Boating and Waterways. Improvements to the facility totaling $350,000 were constructed in two phases over the past two years by DBW's Capital Outlay program. The Pine Creek facility, which is popular with anglers, is located in Bidwell State Park, in Butte County.

"Among the many services we provide using the gasoline tax dollars that come to the department from boating is to build and improve boat launching facilities on state lands, such as Pine Creek," said DBW Director, Raynor Tsuneyoshi.

The capital outlay project was done in two phases. The following items on the bullets were completed in the final phase of construction:

  • Paving of the parking area
  • New 2-unit unisex restroom facility
  • New shade ramadas with concrete benches
  • Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible restrooms and shade ramada
  • Facility sign
  • New light standard

First-phase improvements made in 2002 included the construction of a new one-lane concrete boat launching ramp.



04/09/2004

April 9, 2004

Tri-State Boating Safety Fair at Lake Havasu, May 1, 2004


Contact Information: Arizona
Ellen Bilbrey
Arizona State Parks PIO
(602) 542-1996 or
(602) 228-8518
Nevada
Ed Lyngar
Division of Wildlife
(775-688-1548)
California
Captain John Gocke
San Bernardino Sheriff's Office
(750) 326-9203
Reporters Attention:
Before Event
Call for story opportunities.
On the day of the event
Media should check in at the Media tent at Windsor Beach by 9 AM or call in advance to set up appointments with spokesperson. You will be able to board boats at 10:30 AM for 11AM demonstrations.

The boating season on the Colorado River is getting off to an early start, and Arizona, California and Nevada officials are gearing up for the Lake Havasu Tri-State Boating Safety Fair scheduled for May 1, at Lake Havasu State Park.

The Boating Safety Fair will begin at 7 AM at Windsor Beach and continue until noon with events that include a demonstration of a water rescue by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter and Honda personal watercrafts (PWC), free vessel safety checks, life jacket demonstrations, and a chance to win a speed boat through a safety test competition. Guests to the Fair will also have a chance to receive prizes such as ponchos, beach towels, visors, goodie bags, and life jackets as part of the 2004 Fair. Day-use entry fee at the park will be the regular $8 per car and everyone is encouraged to stay the entire day to picnic, swim, fish and watch the events.

The Boating Fair agencies will focus on the dangers of negligent operation due to excessive speed on the river, alcohol abuse while boating, and carbon monoxide poisoning. The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary of Arizona will be doing free vessel safety checks for those that arrive at the park through the gate and land on the beach from the lake. The California boating safety team will be demonstrating "hooked goggles" that simulate the debilitating effects of alcohol while boating.

A demonstration of the dangers of excessive speed will focus on speed stop times, allowing visitors to experience the dangers of excessive speed for existing conditions. California's San Bernardino Sheriffs Department will be performing water rescue demonstrations with the use of Honda PWCs. These PWCs are part of a "law loaner" program, under which Honda and other PWC manufacturers provide the vessels to approved agencies for law enforcement training. Nevada officials will focus on the proper use of life jackets for safety, and all participating state agencies will be educating boaters about the dangers of carbon monoxide emanating from boat motors.

Boaters are unaware of the poisoning caused by the colorless, odorless, tasteless gas called carbon monoxide. This gas is very toxic in small quantities and disperses through the air from boat motors. Symptoms to watch for while boating are throbbing temples, inattentiveness, ringing in the ears, tightness in the chest, headache, drowsiness, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, vomiting, collapse and convulsions. Boaters will learn all about these symptoms and the importance or life jackets to combat carbon monoxide drownings at the event.

Representatives from each State will welcome visitors and distribute many informational items about boating with rules and regulations for all three States. Boaters will receive a list of the most common violations and be encouraged to avoid the destructive behaviors that are seen too often on lakes and rivers.

For more information about this Boating Safety Fair see webpages at : www.gf.state.az.us, www.boatnevada.org, or www.dbw.ca.gov or call Lake Havasu State Park at (928) 855-2784.

###



03/22/2004

Contact: Megan Standard
(916) 651-5692
e-mail: pubinfo.dbw.ca.gov

March 22, 2004

DBW Honors Jeremiah P. Collins for Distinguished Public Service


Department of Boating and Waterways Director Raynor Tsuneyoshi presented Kenneth J. Boyd of Santa Maria with the Distinguished Public Service Award at a ceremony on March 20 at the United States Power Squadrons District 13 Spring Conference, held at the Four Points by Sheraton Ventura Harbortown in Ventura.

USPS member since 1981, Mr. Boyd has achieved the organization's highest grade of Senior Navigator. For the past several years, he has taught public boating classes including Piloting, Advanced Piloting, Junior Navigation and Celestial Navigation.

He donated time and funds to local Community Service Centers and helped to organize Costa de Oro Squadron's Annual Regatta, an event that displays seamanship skills for the public at large. He oversaw the creation of an award-winning District 13 Newsletter and Website, promoting boating safety through education.

Mr. Tsuneyoshi said, "I am told that he is always on hand when a problem arises, and often works quietly behind the scenes, allowing others to take credit for his many accomplishments."

Mr. Boyd is currently involved in upgrading and improving the squadrons' electronics systems used to provide educational and informational services to the boating community.



03/15/2004

DBW Honors Jeremiah P. Collins for Distinguished Public Service


Jeremiah P. Collins was presented with a Distinguished Public Service Award by Raynor Tsuneyoshi, Director of the California Department of Boating and Waterways at a United States Coast Guard Auxiliary 2004 Annual Awards ceremony held at the Doubletree Hotel in Modesto on March 13.

Mr. Collins joined the Auxiliary in April 26, 1999, and established a Land-Mobile Radio Communications Facility the following December. He is a qualified vessel examiner, crew member, coxswain, and an instructor in the Public Education Program. On January 1, 2003, he attained the rank of Division Captain, Division 8, and presently serves in that capacity.

In 2003, his division has increased membership, conducted 28 Public Education Courses, 233 Vessel Safety Checks, 210 On-the-Water patrols and, most importantly, were credited with 4 lives saved and performed 26 assists to mariners in distress.

With the goal of promoting member training and activity of the various flotillas in his area, he has been instrumental in reviving member participation and, with assistance from other members, he has nurtured the establishment of a new flotilla in Crescent City.

He is also active in Operations, Coast Guard Operational and Administrative Support, member training, Public Affairs, Public Education, Recruitment and Vessel Examinations.



03/15/2004

Boating and Waterways Commission Meeting, March 15, 2004


 


 

At a meeting today in Sacramento, the California Boating and Waterways Commission approved a $15,000,000 Department of Boating and Waterways small craft harbor construction loan. The proposed project is:

Los Angeles County - City of Long Beach Downtown Marinas

A phase-four loan of $15,000,000 to the City of Long Beach for a $31,718,000 project to improve the Long Beach Shoreline Marina and the Rainbow Marina (formerly known as the Shoreline Village Marina), collectively known as the Downtown Marinas. The project includes demolishing and replacing a docks system, replacing utilities, installing new piling, widening and replacing handicapped-accessible gangways and docks, and ancillary items.
Department loans require the consent of the seven-member Boating and Waterways Commission, appointed by the Governor. Funding for the projects is derived from the taxes paid by boaters on the purchase of gasoline for their vessels.



01/12/2004

Contact: Megan Standard
(916) 651-5692
e-mail: pubinfo.dbw.ca.gov

January 12, 2004

2003 Distinguished Public Service Award


 

The California Department of Boating and Waterways has named Elva Swoffer as the 2003 recipient of the Distinguished Public Service Award. Boating and Waterways Director Raynor Tsuneyoshi presented the award at a ceremony during the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary District 11 Conference on January 10 at the Hilton Hotel in Costa Mesa.

"Ms. Swoffer is an example of the dedication the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary members bring to boating safety," said Mr. Tsuneyoshi.

Ms. Swoffer has been a member the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary for 23 years. Last year, Ms. Swoffer conducted 30 safety patrols on Lake Perris. She donated more than 200 hours to patrolling, assisting 137 vessels and 403 persons, and contacting 2,970 individuals regarding boating safety and education. She also participated in 10 safety patrols off the coast of Long Beach.

Ms. Swoffer is also a personal watercraft (PWC) operator and conducts safety patrol on her PWC educating young PWC operators on the Rules of the Road.

The Distinguished Public Service Award, formerly known as the Boater Of The Year Award, was established in 1980, to recognize the efforts of volunteer organizations whose members teach and promote boating safety education.



01/12/2004

2004-2005 Proposed State Budget


Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger released his proposed 2004-05 state budget on Friday, including $65,783,000 in expenditures for the Department of Boating and Waterways.

"Governor Schwarzenegger's proposed budget will fund needed public access boating facility projects, as well as support for boating law enforcement and programs to enhance safety for the state's boaters," said Director Raynor Tsuneyoshi.

Boating and Waterways' proposed budget includes $16,500,000 for loans to public agencies to construct and improve marinas; $3,500,000 to be made available for loans to private sector marina owners to construct and improve marinas; $9,996,000 for grants to public agencies to construct and improve boat launching facilities; $2,288,000 for capital outlay projects to construct and improve boating facilities on state lands; $9,075,000 in aid to local agencies for boating law enforcement; $1 million for beach erosion control; $2,543,000 in federal funds, for a variety of boating safety, education and access programs; $500,000 for abandoned watercraft abatement grants; and $1,153,000 for vessel sewage pumpout grants.

The Department's current budget (for the 2003-04 fiscal year) totals $89,217,000.
Funding for DBW is derived primarily from boating gasoline taxes, vessel registration fees, and loan repayments.



01/08/2004

Contact: Megan Standard
(916) 651-5692
e-mail: pubinfo.dbw.ca.gov

January 8, 2004

Boating & Waterways Commission Approves $153,000 Boating Project


At a meeting today in Sacramento, the California Boating and Waterways Commission approved the following Department of Boating and Waterways boating launching facility grant project:

Kern County - Lake Ming Boat Launching Facility

A $153,000 grant to the County of Kern for the first phase of a proposed $1,526,000 improvement project at the boat launching facility at Lake Ming, located 10 miles northeast of Bakersfield. The project will include the replacement of two two-lane concrete boat launching ramps; replacement of the existing boarding floats and docks with four new pile-guided boarding floats; a new four-unit handicapped-accessible restroom building; resurfacing of two parking areas; and lighting.

Department grants require the consent of the seven-member Boating and Waterways Commission, appointed by the Governor. Funding for the projects is derived from the taxes paid by boaters on the purchase of gasoline for their vessels.