Maine Warden Service Guidelines
by Andy Tabor and Priscilla Treadwell
Leading up to Memorial Day Weekend, the Maine Warden Service released a reminder about boat safety. Andy Tabor brought it to our attention. With thanks to him, here are key points to remember as we enter High Boating Season on Keoka!
First and foremost, wear a life jacket, no matter your age, swimming ability, or distance from shore when you are in a boat.
“‘A life jacket doesn’t help if it is stored under the seat of a boat and you are in the water,’ said Colonel Dan Scott. ‘Tragically, each year we investigate boating fatalities where if someone was wearing their life jacket, they would still be alive.’”
And second, observe Maine’s Headway Speed law, “…which requires all motorized watercraft to operate at the minimum speed to maintain steerage while within 200 feet of any shore …Maine’s headway speed law protects boaters, swimmers, personal property, and the shoreline from erosion and nesting wildlife.”
In summary, for a safe summer and to protect our shoreline:
• Wear your life jacket.
• Do not mix alcohol and boating.
• Be conscious of your boat’s wake.
• Operate your watercraft at a reasonable speed for conditions and be considerate of other boaters on the water.
• Devise a float plan.
• Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back.
• Be mindful of headway speed areas on Maine’s waters, and obey all boating laws.
• If your boat has an attachable engine cut-off switch, utilize it.
• Make sure your boat is equipped with all the proper safety equipment, including wearable life jackets for all on board.
• Always check the weather before heading out.
For more detail and to understand the rules vs. the law, see “The Boater’s Guide to Maine Boating Laws and Responsibilities”