People need to obey DNREC boating laws

April 14, 2014

As the weather turns to spring-like conditions, could we remind all those who use Delaware's waterways of the state laws? These waterways should be enjoyed by all, and not just by a few individuals who have no consideration for others.

There are boats on our ponds that are increasing in size, which would seem to be inappropriate for the size of the body of water. Also the noise of the Jetskis, along with the pollution, are making it increasingly difficult to enjoy any peaceful moments during the spring/summer season.

We would appreciate it if you could remind your readers of Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control's laws regarding the use of our waterways.

If every individual using the waterways of Delaware were to read and follow the state laws maybe it would save a life or injury this season.

Below is a copy of some pertinent laws that we see broken on a regular basis.

Section 1. Water Skiing.

(a) No person shall operate a vessel on any waters of this state for purposes of towing a person on water skis unless there is in such vessel a competent person, in addition to the operator, in a position to observe the progress of the person being towed. The observer shall be considered competent if he/she can, in fact, observe the person being towed and relay any signals from the person being towed to the operator.

(h) No person shall engage in water skiing and no person shall operate a vessel towing a person so engaged within 100 feet of any person in the water, a pier, dock, float, wharf, or vessel anchored or adrift, or in any direction of boat launching ramps, both public and private.


Section 1. Safe Boat Speed.

(a) Every vessel shall at all times proceed at a safe speed so that she can take proper and effective action to avoid collision and be stopped within a distance appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions.

b) The speed of all vessels on the waters of this State shall be limited to a Slow-No-Wake speed when within 100 feet of:

(1) Any shoreline where “Slow-No-Wake” signs have been erected by the Department;

(2) Floats; (3) Docks; (4) Launching ramps; (5) Marked swimming areas; (6) Swimmers; or (7) Anchored, moored, or drifting/vessels.

(c) No person shall operate a vessel at a rate of speed greater than is reasonable having regard to conditions and circumstances such as the closeness of the shore and shore installations, anchored or moored vessels in the vicinity, width of the channel, and if applicable, vessel traffic and water use.

Mike and Trish Baines

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