Reminder for the week: Wearing life jackets saves lives in boating emergencies
DOVER (May 11, 2018) – To achieve public compliance with laws and regulations through education and enforcement actions that help conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety, DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between April 30- May 6 made 2,621 contacts with anglers, boaters, hunters, and the general public, issuing 48 citations.
Officers responded to 54 complaints regarding possible violations of laws and regulations or requests to assist the public. An increased Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence continued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area and Michael N. Castle Trail.
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police in the Community
- On May 2, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers attended the Annual Law Enforcement Memorial Service to honor the fallen Police officers of Delaware in Dover.
- On May 5, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers discussed the role of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers and answered hunting, fishing, and boating questions during the Annual New Castle County Police Department’s “Casting with Cops” event at Glasgow Park near Newark. The Marine Patrol Vessel Oscar, which was very popular, was on display.
- On May 5, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers discussed the role of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers and answered hunting, fishing, and boating questions during the White Clay Creek Fest held at White Clay Creek State Park. The Operation Game Theft Trailer, which was very popular, was on display.
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Action
Incident of note:
- On May 4, following an investigation, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested Connor P. Lewes, 21, of Laurel, with four counts each of: failure to tag antlerless deer, removing antlerless deer parts prior to checking, failure to check antlerless deer within 24 hours, and failure to retain tag on antlerless deer near Laurel. Lewes was arraigned at Sussex County Justice of the Peace Court 3, where he plead guilty, was fined $360, including court costs, and released on Level III Probation for six months.
Citations issued by category, with the number of charges in parentheses, included:
Wildlife Conservation: Failure to tag antlerless deer (4), removing antlerless deer parts prior to checking (4), failure to check antlerless deer within 24 hours (4), failure to retain tag on antlerless deer (4), and failure to check wild turkey at checking station (1).
Fisheries Conservation: Unlicensed fishing (5), possession of undersized tautog (1), improperly marked crab pot (1), use of illegal non-circle hook during striped bass spawning season (1), and possession of striped bass during spawning season (1).
Boating and Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (1).
Public Safety: Driving with a suspended or revoked license (1) and failure to stop at a stop sign (1).
Other: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (13), littering (2), trespassing on Division lands (2), and possession of marijuana – civil (2).
DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife recognizes and thanks the majority of anglers, hunters and boaters who comply with and support Delaware’s fishing, hunting and boating laws and regulations. Citizens are encouraged to report fish, wildlife and boating violations to the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police by calling 302-739-4580. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030 or online at https://de.gov/ogt.
Are you AWARE?
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind spring boaters and anglers of the importance of carrying and wearing life jackets when boating on our waterways. In Delaware, life jackets are the law – and the law requires that owners/operators of recreational vessels carry one readily accessible life jacket for each person on board, and that children age 12 and younger wear a life jacket while underway in any vessel on Delaware waters.
Accidents on the water can happen much too fast to reach and put on a stowed life jacket. Many lives have been saved by boaters who did the responsible thing and wore a life jacket. Browse real-life accounts of boaters who have been “Saved by the Jacket” here.
For more information on safe boating practices in Delaware, including access to the online Delaware Boating Handbook, please click Delaware Boating Safety, or contact the Boating Safety Office at 302-739-9915.