Tuesday, February 28, 2006

We are off to Tampa on business again. We will be off blogging for a few days but will be back at it this weekend. Have a nice, safe weekend and make some time to let your congressperson know how you feel about the port security deal....it is very important to our Country. Dwayne Clark and Kristen Watson  Posted by Picasa

So the Coast Guard is Worried About the Port Deal

So the Coast Guard is worried. If they are worried you and I should be worried too. They say this:
"There are many intelligence gaps, concerning the potential for DPW (DP World) or P&O (Peninsular & Oriental) assets to support terrorist operations, that precludes an overall threat assessment" of the potential merger, the half-page excerpt said. "The breadth of the intelligence gaps also infer potential unknown threats against a large number of potential vulnerabilities."
Congress should put the money where the mouth is.....MORE MONEY FOR US PORT SECURITY NOW....before it is too late.
One of our readers informed us of this on the issue of having US inspectors in foreign ports for incoming cargo:
A 2002 security initiative has already placed U.S. officials at 42 foreign ports to monitor screening of high-risk containers. These ports cover 80 percent of the U.S.-bound cargo. However, sometimes high-risk containers are loaded onto the ship before inspections can occur and native port officals have also refused inspection requests. Captain X1A | Homepage | 02.27.06 - 11:40 pm | #

This is good news and something I was unaware about. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Derelict boats are no sunken treasure

Derelict boats are no sunken treasure. Looks like our State is out of money to remove derelict vessels. If we get more hurricanes in Florida this year the number of sunken and hazardous boats will only grow. Dwayne

Monday, February 27, 2006

Good evening.... Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Tug Valour Sinking - US Coast Guard Public Hearings March 1 and 2, 2006

Tug Valour Update - Coast Guard Hearings

The written press release can be found here at the District 7 website or posted below. The synopsis of investigating officer can be found hyerlinked to the press release or can be found in its entirety below in an earlier post.
Dwayne Clark

Smith Mountain Lake Boating Accident - Defendant Wants Trial Move Among Other Things

See the link above. The defendant wants his trial moved and wants no mention of the family dog being killed in the accident. He doesn't want blood alcohol results mentioned either. This was a bad "accident" allegedly involving extremely high speeds, at night with alcohol. Dwayne

Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Cormorant

Cormorant....what the heck is it?? Posted by Picasa
What is this thing??

Angry Ocean... Posted by Picasa

US Should Have Inspectors in Every Port that Ships to US

The United States should have Coast Guard or private US inspectors in every port that ships cargo to this Country. If a foreign port wants to send cargo here then they should allow our inspectors to check cargo and containers for bombs and other weapons, before departure.
The Congress should double the Coast Guard budget for this purpose. See the article linked above.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Tug Valour - Coast Guard Investigating Officer Synopsis of the Incident

Below is a synopis of the Tug Valour incident which was published in the press release in the next post below and can be found on the Coast Guard District 7 website.
Dwayne Clark
INVESTIGATING OFFICER SYNOPSIS OF THE INCIDENT: On January 17, 2006, the Tug VALOUR was underway towing the barge M-192 loaded with oil. The vessel was located off the Carolina Coast heading south. Some time after 9:15 p.m. the tug had a slight list to port. The tug’s Master ordered corrective action be taken by the Chief Engineer. At approximately 11:20 p.m., the seas were 12-15 feet reaching occasionally to 20 feet and the winds were coming from the SSW at 35 knots with gusts up to 50 knots. The tug began to list much more severely and the Master sounded the general alarm, notified the Coast Guard, alerted the crew of the situation, and ordered them to muster with their lifejackets. The Chief Mate fell down a ladder seriously injuring himself. The crew began performing CPR on the Chief Mate. Earl Shepard, an Able Bodied Seaman, went to find a feasible route to get the Chief Mate to a better location to in order medically assist him. The Master slowed the tug to prevent it from capsizing. As the barge began to overtake the tug the Master ordered the crew to release the tow line. Mr. Shepard was swept overboard with his lifejacket. The Master notified the Coast Guard and tried to maneuver the tug to retrieve Mr. Shepard. After approximately 45 minutes in the water, Mr. Shepard was rescued by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter which also deployed a liferaft and advised the crew to abandon ship. Ronald Emory, an Able Bodied Seaman, was swept overboard. The crew was not able to remove the Chief Mate from the tug before they all went in the water. A nearby tug, the JUSTINE FOSS, heard the distress call and diverted to assist as the tug VALOUR sank. The crew of the JUSTINE FOSS used any and all means available to rescue the crew of the VALOUR. With the exception of Mr. Brenner and Mr. Emory, the crew of the VALOUR was brought onboard the JUSTINE FOSS. After getting onboard the JUSTINE FOSS, the Chief Engineer died of cardiac arrest despite the crew performing CPR. While in transit to Wilmington, NC, the Assistant Engineer of the VALOUR, had a medical issue and was removed from the JUSTINE FOSS by Coast Guard Helicopter for medical assistance. The JUSTINE FOSS recovered the barge, M-192 and towed it to Wilmington, NC.

Tug Valour - Coast Guard Hearings on March 1 and 2, 2006

DATE: February 24, 2006 16:11:43 EST Press Release Date: February 24, 2006 Contact: Tasha Tully o: 727-502-1553 c: 727-698-8926 TUG VALOUR PUBLIC HEARINGS SCHEDULED **Media Availability** TAMPA, Fla. - The Coast Guard will begin a formal marine casualty investigation into the circumstances surrounding the leading to the sinking of the tug Valour, which sank 37-miles off the coast of Cape Fear, N.C., January 18, resulting in multiple loss of life. The hearings will begin Wednesday March 1, at 9 a.m. at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg's Prevention Office at 155 Columbia Drive in Tampa, Fla. The investigation is intended to determine causes of the accident and obtain information that may prevent or reduce the occurrence of similar incidents. Valour sank in 15-to-20 foot seas and gale force winds off the Carolina coast. Three people died in the accident. Five people were rescued by the tug Justine Foss, and one was rescued by a Coast Guard rescue helicopter from Air Facility Charleston, S.C. Justine Foss along with recovered the barge and towed it to Wilmington, N.C. Lt. Cmdr. Charles B. Barbee has been designated as the investigating officer overseeing the formal proceedings. Barbee is the executive officer of Marine Safety Unit Savannah and is a 14-year Coast Guard veteran. A synopsis of events leading up to the accident compiled by the investigating officer is available for download by clicking here. **Editor's note: Media is asked to arrive no later than 8:45 a.m. to set up. Only 10 spaces are available, so if interest exceeds the limit, pooling will be necessary. Space will be provided on a first-come-first-served basis. Media are only allowed to leave the hearing room during scheduled breaks. Lt. Cmdr. Barbee will be available for interviews during the first break and immediately following the hearing. Please contact PA1 Tasha Tully at 727-698-8926 if you plan on attending.** ### The U.S. Coast Guard is a military, maritime, multi-mission service within the Department of Homeland Security dedicated to protecting the safety and security of America.

Patrice Large sent this one from France... Posted by Picasa

Smith Mountain Lake - Boat Accident - Mark Detournillon

This is a follow up on the Smith Mountain Lake / Mark Detournillon boat crash.

Better than a day in the office... Posted by Picasa

Port Deal Delayed

Port deal with UAE has been delayed.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

LNG Ship Terrorism - Ready to Blow??

Terrorism could cause havoc in any number of ports and on any type of vessels. These include tankers, LNG carriers or container ships. Port security should remain here with our Homeland Security Department and the Coast Guard. Is a LNG explosion a real risk?

Terrorism...Ready to Blow?? Posted by Picasa

Ethan Allen - Maritime liability insurance should be required of all commercial boat operators - In all States

Ethan Allen and Shoreline Cruises
Maritime liability insurance should be required of all commercial boat operators (in all states). This should be mandatory in every state in the United States. The stakes are too high for boat owners and victims of boating accidents when there is no insurance.
Here's another article.
Recent Forbes Article on this matter.

Coast Guard Budget Should be Doubled - Let Them Secure our Ports!!

Do our UAE partners have the same incentive to find the chemical and biological weapons in the containers? Will they give it the same look, as say the US Coast Guard? Don't you think it is time to increase the Coast Guard budget and secure our own ports? Nothing against the rest of the World but I think protecting our shores and our children should rest squarely on our shoulders. Its too important to delegate to anyone but our own. Dwayne  Posted by Picasa

Terrorist Bombs in Containers? When she Blows it Won't be in the UAE!!

Would YOU trust any Country other than our own to tell you in which container the nuclear bomb is hidden? When she blows it won't be in the UAE..... This has been said about the threat:
The real concern to Americans, according to Stephen Flynn of the Council on Foreign Relations, should be the low level of security for the estimated 9 million containers that enter U.S. ports each year. Only a tiny percentage of these containers are effectively searched, according to Mr. Flynn, a former professor at the Coast Guard Academy and an expert on port security. Mr. Flynn says there is little to protect Americans from a terrorist smuggling a dirty bomb onto a container and that container exploding on a train or truck in the middle of an American city. In addition to horrific deaths from a nuclear bomb, this type of terror attack would do catastrophic economic damage when it forces the shutdown of the intermodal transportation system that provides goods to Americans. Such a shutdown would trigger plant closings, unemployment and massive economic losses. Our political leaders should not stop at asking for a closer look at security issues raised by the sale of terminal operations to Dubai Ports World. They should demand that port security nationwide become a major priority of our national defense.
See this article. Dwayne
 Posted by Picasa

Humor - I guess?? - Dubai firm running our ports no big deal?

I guess this is humor??

Capt. Patrice...at sea... Posted by Picasa

Blogging from Sea??

Just the thing for the ideal boating experience? High-speed Internet access. As part of Microsoft's attempt to make the Web omnipresent, the company announced a new service Thursday that will connect boaters to the Internet. Seafaring Web surfers can stay connected 25 miles from land thanks to a partnership struck between Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft and antenna maker KVH Industries. KVH's Mobile Internet Receiver will connect users of MSN TV service, a customized version of the MSN TV 2 Internet and Media Player, to the Web. Under the plan, customers can access Microsoft Windows Media player, MSN Mail, MSN Messenger and MSN Radio, to name just a few applications. "Today's consumers expect to be able to stay connected while they're on the go in their vessels," Sam Klepper, MSN TV's general manager, said in a statement. "Consumers will now be able to communicate, access information and enjoy digital entertainment where their travels take them." The service was configured to allow people to use it on televisions, since most boats over 25-feet are already equipped with color TVs. Microsoft also offers a wireless keyboard so they can log on anywhere from stern to starboard. "KVH's Mobile Internet Receiver with MSN TV service will also include WiFi output to provide Internet connectivity to any WiFi-enabled laptop or other product," the companies said in a statement.
What will they think of next?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Cassis, France Posted by Picasa

Shoreline Cruises - Ethan Allen - More Bad News for Shoreline??

Looks like Shoreline Cruises (the owner of the Ethan Allen) has more bad news to deal with from their alleged insurance company. Looks like they thought they were sold marine insurance and now the insurance company is saying there is no coverage. This is really ugly for all involved. The victims families may bear the losses.
Here's another article.

Porquerolles Island Harbor  Posted by Picasa

Cassis  Posted by Picasa

France.... Posted by Picasa

Harbour Lights ...France... Posted by Picasa

Maritime Artist and Sailor - Patrice Large - Black and White Watercolors

Patrice Large Black and White Watercolors
These are more watercolors in black and white by Patrice Large. Patrice is a sailor and and a talented maritime artist. He can be commissioned to paint from a photograph if you have a favorite maritime scene or boat.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Patrice Large Images and Blog Link

Patrice Large Images

This is his blog. Patrice is a maritime artist from France.

Tug Valour Comment

This is a comment from someone on the importance of tug crews and what they do. Dwayne

Brown Hound: SAR Training

This is a post from the Brown Hound about how not to respond to a SAR call.
Brown Hound: SAR Training

William R. (Billy) Flores - A young Coast Guard Hero

This is the story of a very young hero who acted with heorism beyond his years. Dwayne Clark

Sea Voyage from Google Video - Still pics from Seaman

Monday, February 20, 2006

Push Boats of the Ohio Valley

Bloglines - Chris Wallace - Fox News Discussing Dubai Ports World Deal with Senators Graham & Bayh

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Chris Wallace - Fox News Discussing Dubai Ports World Deal with Senators Graham & Bayh

By JB Smith

Chris Wallace - Fox NewsBelow is a partial transcript of the FOX News Sunday edition that aired on Feb. 19, 2006 hosted by Chris Wallace with Republican Lindsey Graham, who joins us from South Carolina, and Democrat Evan Bayh of Indiana.

WALLACE: Let me ask you both about another program that just really sort of bubbled up to the surface this week. The Bush administration has just approved a company from the United Arab Emirates called Dubai Ports World buying and taking over some of the operations, as you can see there on the screen, of six of America's biggest ports.

Some of your colleagues, both Republicans and Democrats, say that this is potentially a serious security breach.

Senator Bayh, should this sale be blocked?

BAYH: I think we've got to look into this company, Chris. I think we've got to ensure ourselves that the American people's national security interests are going to be protected. And frankly, I think the threshold ought to be a little higher for a foreign firm. There can't be a choice between profits and protecting the American people.

We have to do, even if it costs us a couple extra bucks, what it takes to protect this country. I'll give you one little example. About 80 percent of the magnets that make our smart bombs go are now made in China. It's not smart to rely on China to produce important weapons systems for this country, just like it's not smart to outsource our port security if there's any doubt.

So, look. We have to do what it takes to protect America. When in doubt, if it costs us a little more money, well, that's the price of freedom.

WALLACE: Would you like to see a congressional investigation of this?

BAYH: I think we need to look into it to reassure ourselves, yes.

WALLACE: Senator Graham, your view about the sale of this company to Dubai Ports World and whether or not Congress should take a role in either blocking or at least investigating it.

GRAHAM: We certainly should investigate it. I don't know if we should block it. But it's unbelievably tone deaf politically at this point in our history, four years after 9/11, to entertain the idea of turning port security over to a company based in the UAE, who avows to destroy Israel.

So I'm not so sure it's the wisest political move we could have made. Most Americans are scratching their head wondering why this company, from this region, now.

WALLACE: Well, given that, why even consider going ahead with the sale, sir?

GRAHAM: Well, because I don't want to make a judgment without all the facts. Just on its face, it sounds like the wrong direction to go. We did this a few months ago with a Chinese company trying to buy some energy resources in the country.

Americans right now want free trade, but when it comes to national security issues, we want to maintain the infrastructure ourselves. We believe we're under siege. We are. I don't think now is the time to outsource major port security to a foreign-based company.

Full Story

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Ports Cause a Storm - Arab Companies to Control Security of US Ports??

What do you think? I thought the Coast Guard and Dept. of Homeland Security was in charge of this? Bush is not backing down. Apparently, Bush was in the dark until AFTER the port deal was approved by his administration.
The UAE has hired Bob Dole to lobby for them.
Bush digs in.

Coast Guard Patrol Boat Posted by Picasa

Bloglines - Boating safety bills move ahead (Bedford Bulletin)

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Yahoo! News   Yahoo! News - Search Results for boating
Yahoo! News - Search Results for boating

Boating safety bills move ahead (Bedford Bulletin)

A bill introduced by Sen. Steve Newman that would make it mandatory for anyone operating a boat on Smith Mountain Lake to complete a boating safety education course passed the Senate last week.

Bloglines - Working Conditions for Seamen Under Discussion

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Working Conditions for Seamen Under Discussion

By Joe Follansbee

Here's a press release from the International Labor Organization, which is deeply involved in improving working conditions and pay for merchant seamen the world over:

The first Maritime Session of the International Labour Conference of the 21st century scheduled here between 7-23 February 2006 will consider a major new international labour instrument, the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006. The proposed Convention sets out rights to decent conditions of work for the world's 1.2 million seafarers and covers a wide range of subjects, including health, safety, minimum age, recruitment, hours of work and other vital issues affecting a seafarer's life. If adopted, the Convention will consolidate and update more than 65 international maritime labour instruments adopted over the last 80 years.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Jim Trindade and Others Like Him - Missing at Sea

Linked above the Coast Guard republished a Sun Sentinel article about missing boater Jim Trindade. The article suggests that sources other than traditional law enforcement are being used to locate missing boaters and other persons like Trindade. Trindade's friend has set up a site for him at www.helpjimmy.com. It is referenced in the article. We and other blogs and sites post information about missing boaters and water related mysteries. We hope that our doing so with others in the blogosphere will help keep investigations going and possibly bring about facts or evidence that will help the friends or families of those lost on the water or at sea. If you have any information about Jim Trindade or others like Lana Stempien and Chuck Rutherford let us or the authorities know. We are still trying to come back up to speed after being in trial. I hope to be more up to date on boating news soon. Have a good weekend and if you are a NASCAR fan enjoy the Daytona 500 today. Dwayne

Bloglines - Local man dies in North Carolina boating accident

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Local man dies in North Carolina boating accident

A state commission is investigating the death of an Englewood man whose body was recently pulled from the Intracoastal Waterway in North Carolina. Authorities found the body of

Friday, February 17, 2006

Bloglines - A reactive approach to state boating safety

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Search results

A reactive approach to state boating safety

Lynchburg News and Advance - Legislation strengthening state laws in the interests of boating safety was not considered one of the more controversial matters to come before this year’s General Assembly session. In light of the three fatalities at Smith Mountain Lake last ...

Bloglines - Poll Shows Majority Favors Boating Speed Limits

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Search results

Poll Shows Majority Favors Boating Speed Limits

WMUR Channel - CONCORD, N.H. -- Those who want to slow down boat speeds on New Hampshire lakes released a survey on Thursday that shows widespread support for the idea. The New Hampshire Lakes Association said that the poll of 1,200 registered voters shows that 63 ...

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Maritrans earnings report and Some Notes About Tug Valour

This is an earnings report recently posted on the net with some reference to the Tug Valour sinking.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Out of the fog of war...

We are out of "the fog of war"...our trial ended and we prevailed which is always a nice thing...
We are still doing post-trial work in Tampa but should be back to Jacksonville and our old blogging ways soon.
This was a classic maritime case with a lot of colorful witnesses. Our Federal Judge's Deputy said it reminded him of the perfect storm. Back to office work tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

No this is not us...we will be in trial and out of town (Tampa) starting tomorrow. Blogging will slow to a full stop during this next week. Have a great blogging week and if you need to reach us just go to the contacts at the top of the blog and call the office. We will be checking in, during recess of trial. Good blogging. Dwayne and Kristen  Posted by Picasa

Courtesy of the USCG. Cool Duty. Posted by Picasa

The Bay City boy who became a major shipbuilder

The true story of a boy who became a major shipbuilder. This is a quote from the article:
"Harry J. Defoe was born in Bay City Sept. 2, 1875, son of a Great Lakes sailor, Joseph DeFoe, and nephew to a local boat builder, John DeFoe. As a boy Harry liked to whittle toy sail and tug boats and float them in the Saginaw River. As a teenager he built working steamboats from wood and scraps of metal. Harry became a teacher and even served as a school principal but his heart was focused on the river and its vessels."

William Dickey - Injured Seaman on Sealand Pride Airlifted by USCG

BOSTON -- The crew of a Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Cape Cod plucked an injured man from a container ship 60 miles out at sea. The Coast Guard said William Dickey was injured Sunday when he fell eight to 10 feet from scaffolding aboard the Sealand Pride. Dwayne Clark

Monday, February 06, 2006

See Story Below on this boat and Capt. Oba... Posted by Picasa

Capt. Richard J. Oba Charged with Seaman's Manslaughter

This is what the feds say:
Federal officials said Mr. Oba, 58, a captain with 30 years of experience from Alaska to California, acted negligently by repeatedly ignoring warnings from the Coast Guard to back away from an area that was being hammered by high swells. "When captains operate their boats unsafely and people are killed, they must be held accountable," the federal prosecutor, Karin J. Immergut, said when she announced the charges.
Capt. Oba's website letter response can be seen here.
We will follow this story as it developes.

Ethan Allen Heros Honored

Some of the heros from the Ethan Allen sinking were honored recently. Some of the survivors said:
"You humans, you beautiful people, became for a time our angels, our means of being given a second chance at life," said Father Bernard Turner of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, reading a letter from one of the survivors.

Rough day at Sea....  Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Jim Trindade - Was his disappearance Foul Play?

Did Jim Trindade go missing as a result of foul play. The family thinks someone got on the boat. If anyone has information about this case call the authorities or write us and we will pass it on. Dwayne Clark

Tug Valour Sinking - What is the Cause??

Maritrans and its lawyers say they don't know why the Valour sank in heavy seas. They do say this:
Maritrans and the Coast Guard say they don't know what caused the 135-foot Valour to start taking on water around midnight Jan. 17 and go under 21/2 hours later. The weather turned nastier than expected when a surprise cold front passed through. But Valour was an ocean-going tug designed to tow barges in heavy seas. Two other tugs, including Maritrans' Independence, were sailing in the same area. "The weather was stronger than forecast," said Skip Volkle, legal counsel for Maritrans. "But it wasn't something where you could say (the tug) shouldn't be there."
Tugs like the Valour are "ocean going" and if they are seaworthy they should withstand this kind of weather. There will be Coast Guard hearings on this matter in March. The St Pete Times confrims this.
Dwayne Clark

More of the latest news (below) on the Tug Valour / Maritrans Tragedy........Dwayne Clark  Posted by Picasa

Tug Valour - Maritrans - The Latest News

Here is the latest on the Tug Valour Sinking from the St. Pete Times.

Cool Tugboat Site

This is a neat site. Lots of tug pictures.

Red Sea ferry survivors say Captain fled

Classic....Captain leaves passengers to die. What ever happened to going down with the ship?
The crews actions appear to be inconceivable.

Lazy Bones and Almost There - Theresa Mazzola - Tragic Story

Lazy Bones vs. Almost There. Bad and scary collision (actually an allision by maritime law) but horrendous by any description. See also previous articles about this terrible boating accident.
Dwayne Clark

Bloglines - A mother's inconsolable grief

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A mother's inconsolable grief

son Samuele was killed in a boating accident 32 months ago. Pisani is the mother of Samuele Pisani, the 23-year-old killed as a result of a boating accident on Ramsey Lake on the

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Ethan Allen Sinking - No Criminal Charge Based Upon Report and Investigation to Date

See link above on sinking and decision not to prosecute the owner or operator of the doomed boat. Dwayne

Tug Valour Sinking - Seafarers President Report on Loss and Cause

The link above is to a statement from the Seafarers Union to which the Tug Valour crew belonged. He offers his opinions about the possible cause. Dwayne Clark

Friday, February 03, 2006

Staten Island Ferry - Jump on and go for a Ride!!

Seabulk Pride Video

Seabulk Video and news story

video care of USCG
She has been refloated.

Video Link - Red Sea Ferry Sinking - 1,400 passengers

This looks like a major maritime disaster. Video link to Sky News.
Dwayne Clark

Collision at sea.... Posted by Picasa

Bloglines - Manslaughter, other charges filed against boater

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Topix.net   Boating - Topix.net
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Manslaughter, other charges filed against boater

A 22-year-old man has been charged with manslaughter and boating under the influence in a crash that killed a passenger in November.

Tel the Tugboat - Children's Story


Bloglines - House votes for boat speed limits

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This will likely happen all over the US due to reckless and irresponsible boaters.


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House votes for boat speed limits

speed, 35; and the weather 28. Boating accidents with injury or serious property damage declined by 68 percent. Opponents argued that speed limits cannot be enforced. Most boats