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Old 06-30-2017, 07:14 AM   #1
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Safety concerns this 4th of July

As the weekend starts, this is just a reminder to be super vigilant on the waterways. There are many weekend warriors out there who take some risks in front of and in the wakes of us larger vessels. This happened to me on Memorial Day. Just came through Sebastian Inlet, (if that weren't enough) a 17ft speed boat with 3 twenty something testosterone filled jerks decided to overtake me. Normally this is not a problem. However, there were hundreds of boats in the water and I was cruising along at around 5 knots. The jerks decided they were going to show off and hit my boat with some spray except they hit the wake of a vessel traveling at a much higher rate of speed. This made their vessel airborne directly in front of mine. It was close and I was about 3 feet away from running over the top of them. I have not been able to talk about this till now. It upset me and I do not like to be on the water during holidays.

So, I wish all a happy and safe 4th!!
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Old 06-30-2017, 08:27 AM   #2
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We've all had close calls and if they end without damage to people or boats we got off lucky.


We're headed out on the evening of the 4th to watch the fireworks. After they're over we always stay anchored with all lights on and me with a spotlight in my hand.


The W:W ratio is just too high to move the boat right after the fireworks quit.






W:W=Wankers to Water ratio. It's a quantification of the number of jerk offs out there who have no business being out there.
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Old 06-30-2017, 08:27 AM   #3
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The safest thing to do on holiday weekends is to stay tied to a dock, preferably an inside slip.


And you don't have to be a "twenty something" to do stupid stuff. There's a narrow cut in my area and the tidal current can sometimes reach five knots or so. Both sides are lined with rocks. I was traveling through the cut a few days ago against the current. I was having a bit of trouble steering a straight course. Another fairly large boat was coming the other way and we were working hard to stay on our own sides. Here comes a small T top boat speeding through the cut, throwing a wake and passes on the other side of the other boat. I said to myself "What an idiot!"


As it passed by I could see the SC DNR logo on the side.
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Old 06-30-2017, 09:41 AM   #4
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Also - don't forget to keep our first mate dogs securely inside the boat (or at home) so they can't try to flee the fireworks. Keep our fur babies safe!!
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Old 06-30-2017, 10:32 AM   #5
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Nothin' bothers Spanky the cat. He sleeps through the whole thing, even with all four barges firin' off in San Diego Bay.
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Old 06-30-2017, 10:48 AM   #6
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We usually stay tied up to the dock on the fourth. We have more trouble with bass fishing tournaments .We have some big tournaments that are held at our marina . The last one was 400 boats . They have them almost weekly . The biggest problem is at weigh in time (usually 3:00 ) . If I happen to be in a secondary channel they try to outrun each other and blow past us making some serious wakes and cutting in front of us . It gets really goofy. We usually try to be anchored somewhere or far out away from marina at weigh in times .
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Old 06-30-2017, 10:50 AM   #7
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A few characteristics of holidays that lead to the dangers.

1. Just the sheer number of boaters out.
2. The number of less experienced boaters who get our less frequently than others.
3. They're party days and to many that means consumption of large quantities of alcohol.
4. Fireworks displays lead to combining all the worst risks. You have boaters tired at the end of a long day. You have even more alcohol consumed by that point. You have boater congestion in a smaller area. You have boating at night.

The lake was far worse than the coast on July 4 and the number of boats made it a horrible boating day just from how rough the water was. If we get out on July 4, we head well offshore and away from the holiday crowd. Often we'll choose that day just to stay at home, however. See what we can of the fireworks from home or watch on television, enjoying the day on the patio with our friends.

Then the one place we'd never be on July 4, and each area of the coast has their own worst spots, is Biscayne Bay. There have been many accidents there on the 4th, especially when leaving the show at night. If I wanted that view, I'd get a slip at a marina there and stay put after the display.

Certainly a day to be at your most attentive, perhaps an extra person on watch above normal, as there are extra boaters presenting extra dangers.
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Old 06-30-2017, 11:56 AM   #8
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Also - don't forget to keep our first mate dogs securely inside the boat (or at home) so they can't try to flee the fireworks. Keep our fur babies safe!!
We go from home to the boat (and marina) on Independence Day because in our area, people think they should set off their own fireworks instead of going to a professional show. Fireworks will be exploding until well after midnight and the puppy will be barking. She's not afraid of them but she wants them to go away.

At the marina, it's much quieter as far as fireworks are concerned and we can watch the circus at the adjacent public boat ramp after they are over.
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Old 06-30-2017, 12:35 PM   #9
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When we lived on Lake Norman, we were fortunate as to fireworks. There was a lakeside show further up the lake. In fact, I noticed this year they have a show four nights in a row, July 1-4. Then Charlotte Motor Speedway, then the Ballpark and the Stadium both in Charlotte so nothing real close to our home. I just counted (bored on the plane) at least 10 fireworks displays in Miami-Dade County. Fort Lauderdale is simpler. One huge display on the beach which we can see fine from home, just over 1/2 mile, or from a friend's home as this year, about 1/4 mile. We will not get in a boat to go see them. Nor will we walk over to the beach as I have no desire to be packed onto a beach to watch them. No pets to scare. I remember in NC a friend who had a Collie that was always terrified by fireworks, to the point of shaking, even though they lived no where close to where they were being set off.

I do admit to one time going to a fireworks display by boat. Two years ago, we took a boat to one of the East River watching areas for the July 4 Fireworks in New York. It was incredible but once in a lifetime is enough. Next time, if there, we'll just sit at the marina.
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Old 06-30-2017, 12:37 PM   #10
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We go from home to the boat (and marina) on Independence Day because in our area, people think they should set off their own fireworks instead of going to a professional show. Fireworks will be exploding until well after midnight and the puppy will be barking. She's not afraid of them but she wants them to go away.

At the marina, it's much quieter as far as fireworks are concerned and we can watch the circus at the adjacent public boat ramp after they are over.
Our neighbors do the same, with real (illegal) fireworks in our culdesac. Bimini didn't start out afraid of noise......but now starts shaking from the very first launch out of the tube. At the boat, we are all much happier. We can see the fireworks across the river, and have very little of the sound.

Happy 4th Everyone!!
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Old 06-30-2017, 01:42 PM   #11
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Our neighbors do the same, with real (illegal) fireworks in our culdesac. Bimini didn't start out afraid of noise......but now starts shaking from the very first launch out of the tube. At the boat, we are all much happier. We can see the fireworks across the river, and have very little of the sound.

Happy 4th Everyone!!
We moved from suburban MD where every firework including sparklers was illegal to SC where fireworks are sold on just about every street corner and are not only set off on Independence Day, but on New Year's eve and day, Easter, Christmas and apparently birthdays, anniversaries and at random. We've already heard some this week.

We will come home July 5 to find rocket debris in our yard, on the vehicle we don't take and on our roof. And we'll hear them that night.
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Old 06-30-2017, 04:04 PM   #12
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SC where fireworks are sold on just about every street corner and are not only set off on Independence Day, but on New Year's eve and day, Easter, Christmas and apparently birthdays, anniversaries and at random. We've already heard some this week.
Yes, so you can guess where those in our area went to purchase. In fact, you only have to go to the first SC exit.
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Old 06-30-2017, 04:11 PM   #13
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Yes, so you can guess where those in our area went to purchase. In fact, you only have to go to the first SC exit.
Yep. But if your government really cared, the police would be out arresting people setting off fireworks. Or they would be sitting in front of the fireworks stand in SC taking down license numbers.

Personally, I think fireworks are best left to the pros in safe locations, not amateurs with a beer in their hand.
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Old 06-30-2017, 04:18 PM   #14
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We used to be dispatched many times per night for flare sitings until the 911 operators started asking "what color was the flare?"
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Old 06-30-2017, 04:30 PM   #15
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We used to be dispatched many times per night for flare sitings until the 911 operators started asking "what color was the flare?"
Yep...logged many a flight hour chasing fireworks.

Unfortunately, many responsible Americans get tarnished by the clowns who arent safe with fireworks.

Like many US traditions, they are being eroded by idiots and the powers that cant control the idiots feel it is necessary to penalize the rest.

Like being out on the water, I refuse to let the idiots chase me off...it it gets to that point, document everything...plus being buddies with all the regional LEOs definitely helps...
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Old 06-30-2017, 07:01 PM   #16
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If you go to a fireworks display, move off to the side and let all the maniacs go at the end of the show. Truely amazing sight to see all those stern lights heading away on plane.
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Old 06-30-2017, 07:21 PM   #17
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Yep. But if your government really cared, the police would be out arresting people setting off fireworks. Or they would be sitting in front of the fireworks stand in SC taking down license numbers.

Personally, I think fireworks are best left to the pros in safe locations, not amateurs with a beer in their hand.
They couldn't legally go across the state line to do that and the number of cars with fireworks was a minuscule percentage of all cars on the Interstate.

I hate to read each year though of the hands destroyed, eyes damaged, and even lives lost as a result of amateur fireworks. At New Years it's apparently a custom in some areas to fire guns into the air. Apparently some don't grasp that what goes up must come down. It was before my time in this area, but I was told a couple of lives were lost in Hialeah over the years. Apparently this is also done in some Los Angeles neighborhoods.
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Old 06-30-2017, 08:26 PM   #18
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Mythbusters.......
How dangerous is it to fire a gun in the air?
A crowd of Libyans fired guns in the air and chanted slogans in support of Muammar Qaddafi at a rally in the city of Sirte on Monday. Isn't it kind of dangerous to shoot bullets into the sky?

Yes ... well, probably ... maybe ... it kind of depends. The Explainer is far from being the first to ask this question. Everyone from the U.S. military to The Straight Dope's Cecil Adams has probed the lethality of falling bullets. That includes forensic scientists, cardio-thoracic surgeons, and the hosts of the Discovery Channel's Mythbusters—which devoted nearly a whole episode to the matter. And yet, no one has been able to come up with a straightforward answer. The general consensus is that a bullet fired straight up—at precisely 90 degrees to the horizontal—is unlikely to kill a healthy adult when it returns to Earth. That's because, on the way down, air resistance prevents the bullet from returning to its initial velocity. The bullet would deliver a painful wallop but could only have a chance of killing you with a direct hit to the eye, ear, or mouth.
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Old 06-30-2017, 10:17 PM   #19
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Mythbusters.......
How dangerous is it to fire a gun in the air?
A crowd of Libyans fired guns in the air and chanted slogans in support of Muammar Qaddafi at a rally in the city of Sirte on Monday. Isn't it kind of dangerous to shoot bullets into the sky?

.
Mythbusters mythbusters.

The mortality rate for celebratory gunfire was around 32 percent, or over five times higher than that for other types of gunfire, according to a 1994 study from the King/Drew-UCLA Medical Center. The death rate was so high because falling bullets frequently strike victims in the head.

When a bullet is fired into the air, it can stay in flight for over a minute. On the way down, it gains a velocity of between 300 and 700 feet per second—that’s more than powerful enough to kill a human. Skulls can be penetrated at a velocity of 200 feet per second.


That's from Newsweek. Falling Bullets Fall: Los Angeles's Deadly Tradition of Celebratory New Year’s Gunfire

Hialeah has had people killed including a shooter killed when his own bullet returned. Other US cities have, including some in Puerto Rico.

As to it coming precisely vertically down, that's probably unusual because most people trying to shoot straight up would probably end up at a slight angle.

Regardless, the celebratory shooting of bullets up into the air is dangerous and has killed people. I don't want it done in my neighborhood.
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