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Old 06-11-2010, 09:19 AM   #21
Vermont Scott
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Originally Posted by redhawk View Post
Why not?

If there is the possibility of them saving lives and if legislation is required for everyone to be safe by wearing them, then why not?

I have never understood the objection to government mandating something that is obviously in the best interest of people.

If I should do it for my own safety, then i certainly have no reason to object to the government telling me that I should.

Hawk
I'm with Hawk on this one. I gladly wear my seatbelt while driving or riding in a car and I happen to think that it is good that a lot of states require seat belts be worn. I would be devastated if I hit someone in a car and they died because they weren't wearing a seatbelt. Likewise I would be devastated if I was out paddling with someone who wasn't wearing a PFD and they died.

I hate the idea of big brother but there are a lot of irresponsible people out there. Lives would be saved if PFDs were required to be worn. I didn't wear one for years-now I wouldn't even hit the water if I drove 2 or 3 hours to a put-in and forgot the my PFD.

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Old 06-11-2010, 09:24 AM   #22
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Sounds like Ayn Rand libertarianism - the government has to protect us from ourselves mostly because common sense is not so common.

Or as Pogo said, "We have met the enemy, and he is us"
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Old 06-11-2010, 09:41 AM   #23
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It's pretty simple as to why not.

If cars didn't drive over 20 mph it would save thousands of lives per year. Does that mean we should restrict the speed limit to only 20 MPH?
No one is restricting the speed limit to 20 MPH because it's impractical. Requiring the wearing of a seat belt, or a PFD is practical and common sense as well. When people cannot or will not exercise common sense, then the government needs to step in.


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At what point is government involvement in our lives as individuals too much?
So far I have not not found that point. In fact if government had been more involved and also enforced some of the laws that are already in place, then we might not have had the financial crisis we were/are in and perhaps there wouldn't be a devastating oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico. Recent events have shown that we may need more involvement and enforcement, rather then less.

If I'm not mistaken there is another document that talks about the "unalienable" rights of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. It's what our war of independence was fought over. I think that "life' trumps "pursuit of happiness" because if you're not alive you can't pursue it. It also states that "governments are instituted among men to secure these rights, deriving their powers from the consent of the governed." Those are the principles which this country was founded on and which wars have been fought over.


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If someone is stupid enough to not wear a PFD then that's their choice and they have to deal with the consequences.
And if it happens to be someone with a family who is the breadwinner and the family is then unable to support itself, then who pays for their support? The taxpayer.

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Personally I'm sick of the state imposing restrictions on my freedoms.
See, there is the Illusion. Under no article or amendment of the Constitution does it guarantee someone the right not to wear a seat belt, or a pfd, or to be stupid. So there are no restrictions being imposed. You are free to drive a car, or to padle a watercraft as long as you do what is required. The Constitution does not give anyone the right to act foolishly or in an unsafe manner. In fact it allows for laws to be written in order to protect the citizens, even if it's from themselves.

So, we elect officials and grant them the powers to ensure our "freedoms". Sometime the cost of those freedoms is a sacrifice and an inconvenience.

Telling me that I have to do what I already know and do (wear a PFD) does not upset me or infringe upon my rights in any way. If I am upset because someone is telling me that I must do what I should do, then I really need to grow up.

As far as I'm concerned, there is too much bad or stupid behavior going on by people "who don't want to be told what to do", but who really need to be.

I'm quite sure that the family and friends of people who have drowned for lack of a PFD wish that they had been mandatory and that their loved ones, friends had complied with the law.

So, we elect officials and grant them the powers to ensure our "freedoms". Sometime the cost of those freedoms is a sacrifice and an inconvenience.
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Old 06-11-2010, 10:06 AM   #24
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Sounds like Ayn Rand libertarianism - the government has to protect us from ourselves mostly because common sense is not so common.

Or as Pogo said, "We have met the enemy, and he is us"
Exactly.

I would hate to lose the freedom of being able to take my PFD off on a hot, sticky, calm day on a little pond. I would most certainly always, always , always wear my PFD on a big, busy, body of water like Lake George. Its sad that I may have to lose some freedom because others don't have the common sense to do the same.
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Old 06-11-2010, 10:15 AM   #25
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In response to our "Senior Resident Curmudgeon"
Amen, bro!
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Old 06-11-2010, 12:21 PM   #26
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Is anyone else really ticked off by the Warren Count Sheriff's statements below. They are taken from the Times Union. I added the opposing viewpoint from the same article.

John Brothers, a Queensbury resident and former president of the Lake George Association whose first boat ride on Lake George was in 1936, rejected the idea Snyder and Hagan were at fault in the crash.

"The lake is for everyone," he said. "There is very little, almost zero consideration from powerboat operators for smaller boats and canoes. People have a right to their power boats, but you need to keep your eyes moving 180 degrees, from port to starboard at all times, for your safety as well as others."

The sheriff called Snyder's death a tragic accident, but he said it was the paddlers' responsibility to wear life vests. He also said it is safer for canoes and kayaks to say close to shore. "If I were to take a canoe on the lake, I would stay within 30 feet from shore. They were 200 to 250 yards from the nearest shore," York said.



Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories...#ixzz0qYf8erB9
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Old 06-11-2010, 12:39 PM   #27
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I agree with the statement about "There is very little, almost zero consideration from powerboat operators for smaller boats and canoes". In many cases the boats and especially the motors are much larger and faster then is prudent under any conditions. And the mentality is, "since it can go fast, I have the right to do so and since I pay taxes on it, I have that right".

I remember our Hornbecks which were on shore near a lean to on the Raquette River being washed up by the wake from a powerboat going full throttle up the river. I chased him down with the canoe, (He had to turn around and come back) and blocked his path and complained about the violation of the No wake rule (The river is only about 25 feet wide at that point), he claimed ignorance.

I see the boats on Long Lake go wide open within several feet of canoes and kayaks and i have seen the boats on Lake George racing through the narrows when there has been small non motorized craft around. I once saw a 24 footer with about 150 horse launching into lake Algonquin in Wells. can anyone explain what business that amount of power has on that lake? And yes he did try to open it up, for about the 3 seconds that he could.

It's the reason that I don't kayak or canoe on a lake unless I absolutey have to.

And yes, I realize that not all boaters are irresponsible, but it only takes one idiot to kill me. And how many responsible boaters will take the number and report the irresponsible ones?

And when I cannot avoid being on a lake, I stay as close to the shore as possible.

And I wear a PFD at all times, even when it's hot. In my case, safety always trumps comfort.

Hawk
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Old 06-11-2010, 04:05 PM   #28
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While we can parse public officials forever, lats try to arrive at some community "take away" from several recent paddlesport fatalities.

It's pretty obvious that there are costs to society when someone dies in, or just out of their paddlecraft. We have recent proof that a pfd in the boat may not be possible for an accident victim to acquire and put on. So, mostly, we should wear 'em, and doing that means we should get good and comfortable ones.

Sure, when drown-proofing amounts to "STAND UP!" on a hot July day on the Upper Grasse River, we may stow the things, but mostly we should wear them to preserve our own lives and minimize inconvenience to our partners and society at large.

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Old 06-11-2010, 04:16 PM   #29
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Just wanted to jump in and remind everyone to keep it civil please...we're starting to walk across that gray area, but I'd like to keep this open.

Carry on...
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Old 06-11-2010, 04:26 PM   #30
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In my experience, kayakers believe they don't need PFDs because their craft is so incredibly seaworthy that PFDs are only a hindrance and they can always eskimo roll back upright even though they never even tried it before. Powerboaters are not intelligent enough to understand that their wakes go out at an angle. How many times has a powerboater slowed down to pass you while his wake from a few seconds before hits you hard? And 60% of all boaters, powered and unpowered alike, are unable to go near the water without copious quantities of beer.

There is little that can be done about it. You can't fix stupid!
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Old 06-11-2010, 10:31 PM   #31
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This thread had strayed way off topic. I deleted the posts I thought had to go. While some of the deleted posts contained some content that was relevant I thought it better to delete the entire post than to edit them. Some remaining posts are questionable but will stay because they at least have something (in a round about way) to do with original topic of this thread.
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Old 06-11-2010, 11:33 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmbrady59 View Post
Is anyone else really ticked off by the Warren Count Sheriff's statements below. They are taken from the Times Union. I added the opposing viewpoint from the same article.

John Brothers, a Queensbury resident and former president of the Lake George Association whose first boat ride on Lake George was in 1936, rejected the idea Snyder and Hagan were at fault in the crash.

"The lake is for everyone," he said. "There is very little, almost zero consideration from powerboat operators for smaller boats and canoes. People have a right to their power boats, but you need to keep your eyes moving 180 degrees, from port to starboard at all times, for your safety as well as others."
The sheriff called Snyder's death a tragic accident, but he said it was the paddlers' responsibility to wear life vests. He also said it is safer for canoes and kayaks to say close to shore. "If I were to take a canoe on the lake, I would stay within 30 feet from shore. They were 200 to 250 yards from the nearest shore," York said.
Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories...#ixzz0qYf8erB9
I've observed that when a powerboat slows down quickly, it produces a large displacement wake, while a boat that goes by on plane at a safe distance throws only a small wake. By law, powerboats are responsible for damages caused by their wakes, including capsizing, property damage, and loss of life or limb. In reality, we're all responsible for ourselves, and I always watch approaching powerboats to make sure their course indicates that they see me. I wouldn’t paddle if I had to stay close to shore, and I routinely paddle “in the middle” if conditions and other boat traffic make that seem safe.

Mr. Brother seems to have a handle on reality, whereas Sheriff York is off-base if he is blaming non use of a PFD for this tragedy. Nothing will defend a paddler from a powerboat hitting you and driving over your body. The fact that the man drowned seems to be deflecting blame from the boat operator who caused possible fatal injuries to the kayaker. I feel sorry for the driver of the boat, but he did make a major error out there. The article says he was piloting a 22-foot Key West boat with a 225HP outboard engine. That's a lot of power for a boat that size, providing the temptation to run at high speed on open water like Lake George. The sheriff is accurate in saying that “it is safer for canoes and kayaks to say close to shore“, but it is also safer if all power boats cruise at slow speeds so they can see ahead better. Neither statement is rooted in reality, because boat operators can and want to go fast, and paddlers want to tour around, go from place to place, and see different sights. Though, as the sheriff said, “it was the paddlers' responsibility to wear life vests”, it is not a legal requirement, and it is also the powerboat operator’s responsibility to watch for other boats, avoid obstacles, and operate at a prudent speed for the conditions. The only blame that can be rightfully placed here is on the powerboat operator, since the 2 kayakers did not violate any laws, and could not have reasonably foreseen a fast boat coming up the lake and running them over.
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Old 06-12-2010, 12:55 AM   #33
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Well said ALGonquin! Powerboaters have "issues" with kayakers & canoes being on "their" big water with them. Don't blame the victim in this case. I've seen it many times all over this country. Fisher39, I have a bike safety pole flag thing I use when I'm on water around power boats. It's about 5 feet tall with neon orange flag on top. Cost $5.00 at k-mart. Every little thing I can use to prevent myself from being run over & killed. Powerboaters need to wise up, take a boater safety course, learn the rules of navigation, be considerate, stop messing with self-propelled watercraft. From what I read about this accident, I think the powerboater saw the orange kayak & was fixated on it & the blue one, he just did not see. How far apart could the 2 kayakers have been from one another? Not much I would think if they were out there together. If he seen the orange one, he should have stayed away from it. I doubt he couldn't see an orange kayak. That guy at the Lake George Boat Association is telling it like it is. Kayaks & canoes draw powerboats to them as if they were flies on .... Sometimes it takes a tragedy for it to sink in to their thick skulls. And the sheriff's only remarks were to blame the victim! Did he say ANYTHING critical of the powerboat operator? What a pathetic "lawman". I'd vote him out of office if you're able to. Lake George is definitely off my to-do-list.
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Old 06-12-2010, 02:45 AM   #34
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And the sheriff's only remarks were to blame the victim! Did he say ANYTHING critical of the powerboat operator? What a pathetic "lawman". I'd vote him out of office if you're able to.
Well, he did charge the motorboat driver, so there's that. And we don't know for sure that he didn't say anything about the driver. All we know is the newspaper didn't print any.

As for his remarks, as an avid paddler I really don't find them all that controversial. It is the paddler's responsibility to wear a PFD, just as it's my responsibility to eat right and exercise -- he didn't say "legal obligation". And the rest of it is just his opinion, and one I can't find too much fault with, having paddled on Lake George in the summer. It's a zoo.

I have to say though I'm surprised something more than a misdemeanor isn't on the table. Sure, he wasn't wearing a PFD, but with "multiple propeller injuries to his head and a neck fracture" I imagine the prognosis would have been pretty bleak even if he had made it out of the water.
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Old 06-12-2010, 03:47 AM   #35
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It's a sad incident.

Unfortunately, very few people are actually as good at swimming as they think they are.
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Old 06-12-2010, 12:19 PM   #36
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I don't think you are going to get too many elected or appointed officials at lake George coming out with any strong public statements against power boaters. It's one of the main groups supporting the economies of the towns located along the lake and I would vebture that a great majority of the property owners (and voters) are power boat owners as well.

Based on that I would assume that there are a lot of politics involved in anything concerning power boats on the lake.

Hawk
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Old 06-12-2010, 01:59 PM   #37
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We get a bee in our bonnet when a paddler gets killed by a motorboat on a lake crowded with motorboats. Do we get a bee in our bonnet when a motorcyclist is killed by a car on the freeway during rush hour? If all the rules of the road and common sense were always followed we wouldn't see fatalities in either situation, but that won't come until the next evolutionary stage in the human species. In the case of the freeway, most of the traffic during rush hour is folks going to or from work; neither destination nor time of travel is easily changed. In the case of the waterway, both the lake and the timing are more or less arbitrary choices. From what I've read, there's plenty of negligence to go around; that includes lack of foresight in choosing a boat color.
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Old 06-12-2010, 02:04 PM   #38
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Back when I was on the Sailing Team at Annapolis, we obviously spent a lot of time learning the nautical rules of the road, but at the end of the day, sadly, the "Law of Gross Tonnage" is what rules the day. Just sayin'
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Old 06-12-2010, 02:36 PM   #39
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Back when I was on the Sailing Team at Annapolis, we obviously spent a lot of time learning the nautical rules of the road, but at the end of the day, sadly, the "Law of Gross Tonnage" is what rules the day. Just sayin'
Yeah, one doesn't challenge an aircraft carrier from a rubber dinghy.
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Old 06-12-2010, 03:35 PM   #40
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I'm grateful I found this thread and thanks to all who participated. The article and subsequent discussion helps to reduce the risk of complacency. I was a paddler (canoe and kayak) long before ever touching a powerboat and remember what its like to be on the wrong end of nasty wake. Expecting to be at Lake George for the annual family re-union in a couple of weeks, I was looking forward to renting a powerboat for some practice (my powerboating was limited to serving as one of the qualified members of our local fire department marine unit) and, of course, to take my daughters out on the lake for a day. I still will rent one. To my fellow Forum members and all others, I pledge three things: 1. No ETOH. Alcohol has no place wherever the potential exists for a rescue. Besides, I don't drink. 2. I will be especially alert and on the look out for paddlers and other users of the lake so as not to end up like the powerboater in this tragedy. 3. Not act like damned idiot who can't understand the risk involved in operating something that has more power than just my own two arms. Thanks - Don.
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