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View Full Version : What would you have done in this situation? (Rider Safety)


RoverGuy04
08-03-2009, 01:16 AM
I'd like to get a little feedback from a few other boaters here who can hopefully understand a situation I was placed in over the weekend. I recieved a citation (code 655.2), which is a misdemeanor I might add, for speeding past a boat dock while towing a rider. So here is where the story begins, and before I start, I would like to state that I have been boating for over 13 years, possess a 6-pack captains license, and would consider myself to be very familiar with harbor and navigation code and conduct. On Saturday I was on friends boat, and he decided to head to a part of our local river that I was unfamiliar with. It's a rather skinny river full of skags and such, some practically in the middle of the river. Slightly nervewracking, but worth it for the glassy waters. The river is probably no wider than 250ft at any given point. So it's my friends turn to ride and he asks me to drive as I am the most qualified person on the boat this particular day. Of course I oblige and we are on our way with Mike on the wakeboard. About 5-10 mins into his session we approach a small private dock on my portside with a tiny aluminum fishing boat tied up to it. As I pass the dock for the first time, I am a good 200+ feet away from it seeing as how I am well over 5mph and am pulling my rider. After I pass the first dock, I see another large marina with many boats in the water about 1,500-2,000ft ahead. There was not enough room to safely pass through this part of the river, so I decide to turn around before entering their no wake zone and I begin to head down stream. As I complete my turn I notice what appears to be a North River or Jet Craft aluminum fishing boat of some sort following me rather closely, I'd say he was about 300ft off my transom and traveling at the same rate of about 25mph. Needless to say, the boat was a little too close for me with a rider in tow. So I am quickly approaching the first dock that I have already passed. I now see that there are two jet skis idling past the dock heading upstream in the path that I had originally passed the dock in. Here's where my judgement comes into play. Seeing as how that jet boat is following in my wake so closely, I felt it unsafe to drop my rider before passing the dock within 200ft. Considering the location of the jet skis, I felt it unsafe to point the boat directly in their path of travel which would freak them out, not to mention put me in the wrong for not passing them on their port side. So I make the decision to get as close to the jet skis as possible without scaring them, thereby keeping me as far away from the dock as possible (which was less than 200ft). As soon as I pass the dock, that boat 300ft off my transom ends up being a Sheriff. He throws his lights on and comes to an idle, so I drop my rider, pick him up, and cruise over to the Sheriff boat. He begins to write me a citation for speeding past a boat dock despite my explanation of rider safety. He further continues to lecture me on my inability to comprehend the harbor and navigation codes. He had his mind made up from minute one, did not take my captains license into consideration, nor my explanation. I found it odd that he did not check the boat for life jackets, air horn, or padded flotation device. He also did not even bring up anything about alcohol consumption (none was present this particular day). So I feel that it is a BS citation and I will be contesting it in the next week. If any of you guys were put into this situation, how would you have reacted? Is there anything you recommend I say in court to add more validity to my case?

BriEOD
08-03-2009, 08:09 AM
Not sure I can lend any advice. But, concur the officer seemed to be ready to cite you. I'd suggest presenting your side in a clear, unemotional, articulate manner focusing on rider safety. Moreover, I think I might mention that the officer was following closely and directly behind your rider.

russlars
08-03-2009, 09:21 AM
I would definitely show up in court and explain your side of the story to the judge (if this is an option). Even if the judge doesn't dismiss the citation he may opt to reduce the fine due to your circumstances.

trickskier
08-03-2009, 09:34 AM
Not sure I can lend any advice. But, concur the officer seemed to be ready to cite you. I'd suggest presenting your side in a clear, unemotional, articulate manner focusing on rider safety. Moreover, I think I might mention that the officer was following closely and directly behind your rider.

I agree with Brian and think the officer in question should be sent to a safe boating course!!!

bigmac
08-03-2009, 09:37 AM
Usually, your first date as listed on the citation is an arraignment. If you plead not guilty, they will then set a trial date.

IMHO, first thing to do after you do get a trial date is head down the courthouse and file for a continuance -- get it moved back. When that trial date comes up, file for another continuance.

If and when you do get to trial, bring diagrams and 8x10 photographs, as well as all your seamanship documents. Judges love diagrams and photographs. He is obliged to accept the deputy's version as prima facie evidence that you broke the law, so if it's your word against his, you will lose unless you have to have a lot of cool supporting evidence.

Granite_33
08-03-2009, 10:29 AM
I have found that there are some seriously BS laws that the DNR or Sheriff can pull out when stopping boats. Boaters lack of knowledge about these laws does not help.......

Our boat is a constant on our lake, so the DNR and Sheriff leave us alone....now

BUT.....

A few years back, the DNR always made a habit of stopping us 2-3 times during the summer.....same lake.....same boat......almost always same people in the boat....
always a different reason.

Almost all of the time.......the different reason had a nice body and a set of double D's that they had to check out up close.....:mad:.....because the supposed infraction was BS.

Not helping you here.....but I believe that outside of the major boating regulations that vary by state.......it becomes highly arbitrary.......



Heres a quicky from a few years ago.....
sir you are in a no wake zone...and your boat is putting off a wake.....
sorry officer, my boat is in idle forward....this is as slow as I can go......
makes no difference sir, the boat is putting off a wake, and this is a no wake zone......you will have to figure out how to drive and not put off a wake.....
officer, the wake behind my boat is 3" high.......
makes no difference sir........If I catch you doing this again you will receive a citation.......

What was on the tip of my tongue.....
OK officer......by the way, did you get a good look at my wife and her 2 friends t!ts and azzes?........because you have sunglasses on that you did not take off and I could not even see what you were looking at.......and the fat people on the pontoon just buzzed through this channel at 15 mph and you did not even give them a sideways glance......



You get the picture......

atlfootr
08-03-2009, 10:40 AM
Brian said it best, vent your steam here on the board.
Go into court w/ a cool level head, state your case and hope "he" does not show up.
In which case, it maybe dismissed.

Good luck and let everyone know, how it went.

flipper
08-03-2009, 10:45 AM
Unfortunately I think you'll be screwed being that a law was broken. My experience has been they don't care why you broke the law, just the fact it was broken. That said I would have probably done the same thing. I'd rather have a ticket than a dead friend.

About the only other thing you could have done depending on how the boat handles is do a power turn and head right at the boat until you are between the rider and the other boat. Same thing i would have done had the rider fallen. In fact, I did that to a sheriff boat one time. Got the rider, and the sheriff came up as asked what the hell I was doing. I explained, they understood and went on their way.

sand2snow22
08-03-2009, 10:56 AM
Had nearly the same thing happen to me three years ago. Curious to your location on the West Coast. Sheriff boat used similar tactics and distracted my boat so that the person holding the flag forgot to hold it up for a second. I hate to say it but your only mistake was pulling a wakeboarder, Sheriff probably gets a lot of calls of how big the wakes are and how damaging to docks/boats the waves are. Here was part of my letter to the judge:

Yesterday was the first day taking our boat to the Upper Willamette. While towing a skier upriver I noticed another boat going downstream approaching my vessel on the starboard side. Around this time, the skier I was pulling fell and my immediate concern was to get back to my skier. I turned around and headed downstream to pick up my skier. The other boat followed and a man was yelling at us. As the other boat came closer, I noticed it was a sheriff’s boat and I could finally make out what the deputy was yelling. He yelled, “Where is your flag?” The person in my boat had the flag in his hand and held it up. Everyone in my boat yesterday was aware of the skier down flag law.

The deputy also wrote me a warning for, “riding on outside boat x 2.” I think this is misleading because my passengers were not hanging off the side of the boat. I had two passengers sitting on the back sun pad and honestly did not know it was against the law. Now I know it is breaking the law and it is not a good idea.

I want to point out the deputy’s safety check of my vessel consisted of checking if I had a throwable floatation device. He also wanted to see if my fire extinguisher dial was in working order. The deputy seemed new and eager to practice writing tickets rather than concerned with safety. He did not check my capacity plate, PFD’s, whether I had a paddle, etc. He did not ask if I had been drinking or if we had plans of drinking that day, although we did not consume any alcohol yesterday. Again, my perception of the deputy was that he was concerned with writing me a ticket rather than the safety of me, my passengers, my boat and the Willamette River.

woftam
08-03-2009, 11:25 AM
Assuming everything is as you described, you’ve found yourself in a frustrating catch-22 wrt the citation being written. Boats with recreational riders in tow have virtually no rights vs. other vessels. If you can’t steer or change speed to avoid trouble, then your only option is to stop. In this case your reasonable judgment was that stopping would put your rider in more danger. Unfortunately, the following boat causing you to assume that reasonable danger was operated or controlled by the citation writer.

BriEOD, russlars, and bigmac all offer excellent advise. Flipper makes a good point about a ticket vs. dead friend. As for the power turn, it could either turn out well as it did for flipper, or could have easily resulted in an additional charge.

If you decide to fight it, have your documentation prepared as suggested by bigmac. Be sure to bring the original or notarized copy of your Coast Guard License. I hold a CG License that is a bit north of a 6-pack, but can fully appreciate that any CG License holder should be given extra consideration in court when disputing a close judgment call while operating on the water. If the judge doesn’t think so, then you are screwed anyway. If/when you get your ultimate court date, it would be a good idea to a bit of research on the judge and how automatic his ruling might be for law enforcement. That last comment is not meant to disparage law enforcement or the judiciary, however there are still pockets of cronyism… that still exist and you don’t want to walk into that kind of situation unaware.

Edit: If you produce your CG License, be sure you are on solid ground with your defense, otherwise there is the possibility of disciplinary action from the USCG.

Hollywood
08-03-2009, 11:28 AM
You got a citation for obviously breaking the law, I don't know how you're going to fight that.

brat
08-03-2009, 11:50 AM
How much is the fine ? Probably easier to just pay it and move on. Whether you think you were right or not. In my experience the officers account is always right, according to judges.

CameronCarey
08-03-2009, 12:21 PM
I agree with the continuance strategy.

CameronCarey
08-03-2009, 12:33 PM
I was once stopped by the Coast Guard (Department of Commerce at the time) the Florida Marine Patrol (for some reason these guys are always 5 feet tall) , the Jacksonville Police department, the Clay County Sheriffs Department, and The department of fish and game in 1 day.

The purpose of all but the Jacksonville police departments harassment was to check my boat for safety equipment.

Several of these stops were with in site of one another..........

The result was
about 2 hours of my day off spent pulling out safety equipment to demonstrate i had the proper safety equipment and that the fire extinguisher and flares were in date.
A warning for going too fast off plane in a no wake zone (going against a 10 knot current)
A big Black Streak from the marine patrol little person running into my boat with a Nasty Fender

I've learned that reason and logic have little place in the world of marine law enforcement.

SkiDog
08-03-2009, 03:34 PM
You got a citation for obviously breaking the law, I don't know how you're going to fight that.

You sound like the a$$ that gave him the ticket!:mad:

Hollywood
08-03-2009, 03:52 PM
Stop the boat or suck it up and pay the fine for knowlingly breaking the law... it sucks but it is what it is.

Dan K
08-03-2009, 04:32 PM
Stop the boat or suck it up and pay the fine for knowlingly breaking the law... it sucks but it is what it is.

You completly missed the point of him being concerned for the safety of his rider. I would break the law any day of the week if it meant not putting someone in harms way. I hope you have more concern for your riders.

captain planet
08-03-2009, 04:41 PM
I would go into the court and tell the judge how closely the sheriff was following you WHILE you were pulling a skiier which made you take the actions you took. If the judge is reasonable they may say you were fine.

Sounds to me like if I were in your situation I would have done the same thing.

SkiDog
08-03-2009, 04:54 PM
Stop the boat or suck it up and pay the fine for knowlingly breaking the law... it sucks but it is what it is.

So, what you're saying is, to hell with the safty of YOUR skier! Thats the DUMBEST thing I've ever heard! What if it was YOU behind the boat and your driver stops and lets you drop right in front of an on coming boat!? Would it be the same then?:confused:Jeez!

flipper
08-03-2009, 05:07 PM
I'd throw in that it looked like a fishing boat, and didn't want to take a chance on the fact that they could have been drinking all day while they were fishing.

CameronCarey
08-03-2009, 05:10 PM
a Camera phone video would have done wonders in this particular situation...

T-Rager
08-03-2009, 05:41 PM
I contested a speeding ticket in court and had devoted four hours to preparing my arguments. When I got to court, the judge said that unless I had specifically subpoenaed the officer, he will not appear in court and that what was written on the ticket is his testimony. Without the officer present, I couldn't contest his training, use of equipment or decision-making process.

The lesson is (at least in WA) that if you want to contest the ticket be sure to subpoena the officer.

CantRepeat
08-03-2009, 07:40 PM
While there are hard facts on the books about what channel markers mean and what you must do, there is also the documented rule of "every boat operator must take action to avoid a collision". It's in the very front of the rule book. This is your best defense. Given the facts you were trying not to put jets and riders in danger so you took the path you did to avoid a collision. It might have put you close to an anchored object but your recourse would have surely endangered people.

RoverGuy04
08-03-2009, 10:11 PM
I am impressed by and appreciate the amount of insight and advice you guys have provided thus far! I have been in contact with my attorney this afternoon and we both came to the same conclusion that it will be best to argue with regards to rider safety as well as attempting to avoid a dangerous situation. The bail for this citation is a mere $420 and completion of a USCG approved safe boating course. The money or completing the course are not inconviences to me. I feel that my case can truly be argued in my favor, and if bail is not reduced, or the case is not dismissed, at least I may be able to raise some red flags regarding the officer's procedures and safety. If I were to relive the situation, and I knew that it was a Sheriff following me, I would have acted no differently. The safety of my rider and everyone in the boat is of the utmost importance. I have seem some very questionable actions of Sheriffs on the water in past years and treat them no differently then any other boater on the water. I would be interested to see what their training and requirements are before becoming an on the water officer. My last negative interaction with a Sheriff came when one passed my downed rider at about a distance of 25ft at a 40mph clip. You really start to wonder.... Anyways, as a previous team talker posted, I will drag this out and file at least one continuation. When I do go into court, I will be well prepared with diagrams and photo's of the location where this incident occured. I also plan on documenting the event second for second so I won't forget any important details! I'm an optimist, but feel that the odds of contesting in front of a judge who understands maritime law and/or has any boating experience will be slim to none. My guess is that the judge will consider the officer to possess more maritime knowledge then myself depsite my qualifications and experience and will thereby side with the officer. Hopefully I will be given the benefit of the doubt, but time will tell! Thanks again, and I'll be sure to post the outcome of the situation...

ProStar190Fan
08-04-2009, 12:10 AM
keep us posted, i just came off of work for the WI DNR with AIS and would really like to see what the outcome is, you said you were pulled over by a sherriff which leads me to believe that your dealing with the state police and not a DNR or USFS as they would be a ranger or warden.

RoverGuy04
08-04-2009, 12:38 AM
Correct. Yolo County Sheriff's Department Marine Patrol/Search & Rescue to be exact.

bxroads
08-04-2009, 07:28 AM
It all depends on the judge. Its his/her decision. I contested a traffic violation once. I was issued a ticket for failure to stop at a stop sign. It was 1 am in the morning, I had not an ounce to drink (which I think disappointed the officer), and made a "rolling" stop. I admitted to the judge that my tires in fact did not come to a complete stop. I estimated my speed to be 2 - 3 mph. I explained that it was late at night and no other traffic was on the road. The judge asked the officer (who was present) if my story was accurate and the officer agreed that it was. The judge waived/dismissed the ticket and fine, even after I admitted to breaking the letter of the law.

It is my opinion that the judge was fed up with the officer for whatever reason. You do not know what your situation will be until you try it. As others have said, stay unemotional, keep it to the facts, and emphasize safety. Your outcome will be dependent on the judge's history with the officer.

tex
08-04-2009, 08:04 AM
I say go to court. I had a silly one written to me a couple of years ago. I set it for court and the judge laughed. He put me on 3 months deferred. He said if I could go 3 months without getting a ticket on the water, he would dismiss. My deferred started in mid-November!!! Good Judge!

thatsmrmastercraft
08-04-2009, 10:33 AM
Now thats my kind of judge!

Maristar210
08-04-2009, 12:23 PM
Our local Sheriff patrol is a kid who doesn't know a wakeboard from a ski. He stopped me and asked to see my throwable. I pulled it out (the throwable Stu) and showed him. He said no that's a PFD, I need to see your throwable. I said you're kidding right? he looked down at his book, then up at me and said oh yeah oh yeah.

I miss the old salt who retired last year. That guy was concerned about safety and nothing else. Didn't write a ticket unless you were being stupid.

Good luck to you in your fight !!

flipper
08-04-2009, 12:32 PM
Correct. Yolo County Sheriff's Department Marine Patrol/Search & Rescue to be exact.

Delt with them more than once and to say they are....well can't say it here but ya know what I mean.

RoverGuy04
08-04-2009, 01:10 PM
Delt with them more than once and to say they are....well can't say it here but ya know what I mean.

I can certainly read between the lines! This particular officer admitted to me that this was only his third year in marine patrol. I'd say he was in his early fifties, but am unsure of any previous boating experience he might have. Everytime one of my friends or myself has had a negative interaction with a Sheriff, it has always been with the Yolo County Department. Everytime I have dealt with the Sacramento Sheriff, they have been nothing but courteous, polite, and ultimately concerned with my safety and other boaters. Must be a different training program...

flipper
08-04-2009, 01:20 PM
I had one try to give me a ticket because I didn't obey a sign that wasn't there!!!!! We argued back and forth to have the other sheriff in the boat say "Well, it's there but it's turned towards the bank so you can't see it" I got out of it because of the other guy but the rookie wanted to give me a ticket.

RoverGuy04
08-04-2009, 01:40 PM
I had one try to give me a ticket because I didn't obey a sign that wasn't there!!!!! We argued back and forth to have the other sheriff in the boat say "Well, it's there but it's turned towards the bank so you can't see it" I got out of it because of the other guy but the rookie wanted to give me a ticket.

Now that gave me a good laugh! Idiocracy at it's finest...

Hollywood
08-04-2009, 01:51 PM
So, what you're saying is, to hell with the safty of YOUR skier! Thats the DUMBEST thing I've ever heard! What if it was YOU behind the boat and your driver stops and lets you drop right in front of an on coming boat!? Would it be the same then?:confused:Jeez!

No, that's not what I am saying. You are indeed confused. Signal your rider to cut out and you can stop the boat BEHIND where your rider stops, keeping THE BOAT to shield him/her from danger. If you don't know how to do this you shouldn't be riding in such dangerous locations.

Knock it off with the dumbass assumptions. I never said drop the rider and keep on going straight to leave him in the boat path to get chomped by the following boat.?!

SkiDog
08-04-2009, 05:26 PM
No, that's not what I am saying. You are indeed confused. Signal your rider to cut out and you can stop the boat BEHIND where your rider stops, keeping THE BOAT to shield him/her from danger. If you don't know how to do this you shouldn't be riding in such dangerous locations.

Knock it off with the dumbass assumptions. I never said drop the rider and keep on going straight to leave him in the boat path to get chomped by the following boat.?!

I may be confused, but I'll tell you like I tell my wife, I'm not a freakin MINDREADER! Say what you mean, mean what you say.

robisjo
08-04-2009, 06:20 PM
Correct. Yolo County Sheriff's Department Marine Patrol/Search & Rescue to be exact.

I got a ticket in Yolo County out past the airport, I forget where. First and last time I boat in Yolo County. My daughter got a t-shirt for wearing her life jacket. I call that t-shirt her $200 shirt because that what it cost me.

RoverGuy04
08-04-2009, 08:52 PM
I got a ticket in Yolo County out past the airport, I forget where. First and last time I boat in Yolo County. My daughter got a t-shirt for wearing her life jacket. I call that t-shirt her $200 shirt because that what it cost me.

Sounds like you were in the same part of the river I was. The launch ramp closest to Sacramento International Airport is called Alamar (Swabbies restaurant/bar is right there too)which is right off the Garden Highway. If you continue upstream you pass the next ramp which is called Verona. I was riding inbetween Verona and Knights Landing which is the next launch ramp approximately 6-7 miles farther upstream. I will be staying in Sacramento County from now on unless someone else on the boat is willing to drive when we are in Yolo County waters :D

454Prostar190
08-05-2009, 11:59 AM
Sounds like you were in the same part of the river I was. The launch ramp closest to Sacramento International Airport is called Alamar (Swabbies restaurant/bar is right there too)which is right off the Garden Highway. If you continue upstream you pass the next ramp which is called Verona. I was riding inbetween Verona and Knights Landing which is the next launch ramp approximately 6-7 miles farther upstream. I will be staying in Sacramento County from now on unless someone else on the boat is willing to drive when we are in Yolo County waters :D

On the 4th of July, this year, our group of 4 boats went to the Sacramento River. We put in at Knights Landing to caravan north to 3rd Beach. As we passed 2nd Beach at approx. 20mph and favored the far side of the river as there wasn't any traffic, there was a Sutter County Sheriff's boat parked at the beach giving someone a ticket. The Sheriff pulled our lead boat over, then me and then the third in line.... the 4th boat got smart. We all received citations for "speeding by the beach" handed a book and told to refer to page 14 which states that something to the effect of "if there is anyone on the beach that it becomes a 5 mph zone, though it is unmarked." We all recieved citations for 20mph in a 5mph zone. It is a 2nd degree misdemeanor crime and I was told that it was a mandatory court appearance. As we were getting our tickets. A boat with a boarder went by and the Sheriff let him go. Last Monday, as a group we all drove up to the Sutter County Courthouse to comply with our court date on the citation. When we got there, our names weren't on the Court list, we went to the clerks office to be told that we had to "come back next week to be arraigned, since they didn't do arraignments on that day or pay a $420.00 fine". We all did the math and we all paid! That's my story.

RoverGuy04
08-05-2009, 12:16 PM
On the 4th of July, this year, our group of 4 boats went to the Sacramento River. We put in at Knights Landing to caravan north to 3rd Beach. As we passed 2nd Beach at approx. 20mph and favored the far side of the river as there wasn't any traffic, there was a Sutter County Sheriff's boat parked at the beach giving someone a ticket. The Sheriff pulled our lead boat over, then me and then the third in line.... the 4th boat got smart. We all received citations for "speeding by the beach" handed a book and told to refer to page 14 which states that something to the effect of "if there is anyone on the beach that it becomes a 5 mph zone, though it is unmarked." We all recieved citations for 20mph in a 5mph zone. It is a 2nd degree misdemeanor crime and I was told that it was a mandatory court appearance. As we were getting our tickets. A boat with a boarder went by and the Sheriff let him go. Last Monday, as a group we all drove up to the Sutter County Courthouse to comply with our court date on the citation. When we got there, our names weren't on the Court list, we went to the clerks office to be told that we had to "come back next week to be arraigned, since they didn't do arraignments on that day or pay a $420.00 fine". We all did the math and we all paid! That's my story.

Small world. It is interesting to me that multiple people on this forum have had negative interactions with the Yolo County Sheriff. I was also told to "refer to page 14 of the handbook" and was given the same information about "speeding" past a beach while people are present. I am curious to know if you were cited by the same officer, as these sound like his tactics. The name of my citing officer is L. Akin. Sound familiar? I know for a fact that there are only a handful of Sheriff's that patrol this particular waterway...

kkkeating
08-05-2009, 12:46 PM
I was on the Sacramento River, south of downtown, when I noticed a Sheriff’s boat on the east side of the river with his lights on talking to someone near the east side levee. I past on the west side of the river, as far away as possible, so I’m over 250 feet away from him. He immediately leaves the beach area and pulls me over, the reason being that I did not slow down when I saw his lights on. Did not make sense to me, as I was not near him and he was clearly using the lights to stop someone on the other side of the river.

2nd time I got pulled over was because the Sheriff thought I was closer than 200 feet to someone in a bathing suit at the edge of the river. According to his logic, if someone is at the edge of the river it all of a sudden it becomes a swimming beach and you can’t be within 200 feet unless you’re going less than 5MPH. Fortunately on both occasions I was not cited, probably because I had the kids and wife, no alcohol and it was obvious we were out for a family day. I guess here in Sacramento you need to be careful on what you’re doing.

RoverGuy04
08-05-2009, 01:00 PM
This is very true. I always launch at Discovery Park which is the ramp located right where the American River and Sacramento Rivers meet. The area of the river between Old Sacramento/Tower Bridge all the way up to Ski Beach which is the first beach above all of the Marinas is usually always full of Sacramento Sheriff's (and Yolo County Sheriff's on busy weekends). Whenever I am in this part of the river I make it a point to only go 5mph. Usually there will be a couple idiots in Go-fasts, jet boats, or jet skis ripping through the waters right past Discovery Park which is just idiotic and extremely unsafe in my opinion. There is always someone getting pulled over, checked for BUI's, PFD's, etc. The Sheriff is also usually always at Discovery Park beach because drowings are almost a weekly occurrence over there due to peoples inability to swim and life jacket negligence. Just witnessed a drowning about two weeks ago. My advice to anyone boating in this vicinity is to keep it at 5-15mph from downtown Sacramento all the way up until you past the last Marina/Ski Beach farther up stream. And if you go boating in Yolo County on the Sacramento River? Well, there's not much you can do to prevent yourself from recieving a citation! Make sure you idle past EVERY beach, dock, snag, rock, floating beer can, telephone pole, granule of sand, fish, duck, bird, etc!! Also, I highly recommend against wakesurfing in Yolo County! Had a buddy recieve a citation for throwing too large of a wake when there wasn't another boater, dock, or beach in sight. Officer claimed it was detrimental to the levee's. Can't remember what the code number was for that one...

g-Dog
08-05-2009, 05:23 PM
I think you guys just saved me a citation. Where should I mail my "thank you" checks too?:8p We are on the river almost every Saturday between "Swabbies" and Knights Landing(very nice water up there by the way). I was not aware of the 5mph speed limit near a beach with a person on it...but I am now. There are several beaches we pass that almost always have people on them and I make it a point to stay as far away as possible from any potential swimmers. I guess I've just been lucky so far. On a side note...a few weeks ago the had a "Vessel Checkpoint" set up at the Sacramento/Feather River split. They had a pontoon boat anchored with a Sheriff boat in tow. Pretty standard stuff...PFD's, Fire Extinguiser, etc., but the thing that killed me was there must have been between 6 and 8 officers on the boat. Outstanding use of resources guys.:rolleyes:

RoverGuy04
08-05-2009, 09:04 PM
I think you guys just saved me a citation. Where should I mail my "thank you" checks too?:8p We are on the river almost every Saturday between "Swabbies" and Knights Landing(very nice water up there by the way). I was not aware of the 5mph speed limit near a beach with a person on it...but I am now. There are several beaches we pass that almost always have people on them and I make it a point to stay as far away as possible from any potential swimmers. I guess I've just been lucky so far. On a side note...a few weeks ago the had a "Vessel Checkpoint" set up at the Sacramento/Feather River split. They had a pontoon boat anchored with a Sheriff boat in tow. Pretty standard stuff...PFD's, Fire Extinguiser, etc., but the thing that killed me was there must have been between 6 and 8 officers on the boat. Outstanding use of resources guys.:rolleyes:

If this thread saves someone from recieving a citation or even just informs them of the high probability that they will be cited for something, then it has done it's job! If you are going to be boating in this vicinity then go forth with extreme caution. You might not get pulled over, maybe you will, but chances are if you do, you will recieve a citation and no warning. Unfortunately, this part of the Sacramento river has THE best water; however, it can come at a high price of a citation or boat damage. The farther upstream you go, the more snags you will begin to notice. Some protruding out fully into the middle of the river. Be sure to take all corners as far out from the inside as possible. It is a double edge sword!

nmcjr
08-09-2009, 11:45 AM
I too ride the Sac. I have always wondered what the law was regarding docks--so, to clarify, do we have to slow to 5mph at every dock, or is it just official marinas, any idea?

RoverGuy04
08-09-2009, 01:36 PM
I too ride the Sac. I have always wondered what the law was regarding docks--so, to clarify, do we have to slow to 5mph at every dock, or is it just official marinas, any idea?

As a general rule of thumb, I always idle past the large marinas, for example, Riverbank where Chevy's/Crawdad's is. I also idle past all the marinas above Riverbank. I pass smaller docks (primarily private) at speeds greater than 5mph and ensure that I am 200ft+ from them while passing. California Boating Law states that if you are within 200ft of a bathing beach, swimming float, diving platform or lifeline, passenger landing being used, or landing where boats are tied up, the maximum speed is 5mph.

nmcjr
08-09-2009, 07:33 PM
got it, makes sense, thx

TX.X-30 fan
08-09-2009, 08:38 PM
Sounds like Cali has gone over to the dark side of the force. Laws written that leave wiggle room for a ticket under almost any circumstance are inane and insane. Safe boating is one thing i wholly believe in, but this stuff on here is ridiculous harassment.


We were stopped for safety checks 4 times in one month when we moved here. I was polite to the point of nausim each and every time, but on the forth my sweet bride had had a gut full so to speak and proceeded to show (again) all the legal stuff while informing this turd about this being our 4th check and surely he can remember pulling over a complete black MC with custom graphics before.

Needless to say he must have been married :D and realised she had reached the her tipping point:D we were not stopped the rest of last year and not a time this season.

I know they have a tough job but some are just a-holes, like in most other aspects of life they walk amongst us.

captain planet
08-10-2009, 01:06 PM
Sounds like Cali has gone over to the dark side of the force. Laws written that leave wiggle room for a ticket under almost any circumstance are inane and insane. Safe boating is one thing i wholly believe in, but this stuff on here is ridiculous harassment.


We were stopped for safety checks 4 times in one month when we moved here. I was polite to the point of nausim each and every time, but on the forth my sweet bride had had a gut full so to speak and proceeded to show (again) all the legal stuff while informing this turd about this being our 4th check and surely he can remember pulling over a complete black MC with custom graphics before.

Needless to say he must have been married :D and realised she had reached the her tipping point:D we were not stopped the rest of last year and not a time this season.

I know they have a tough job but some are just a-holes, like in most other aspects of life they walk amongst us.

TX, I had a similar experience on our lake a while ago.

http://www.mastercraft.com/teamtalk/showthread.php?p=527905&highlight=parents+boat#post527905

Post #32

nmcjr
08-10-2009, 01:32 PM
Ya, its terrible here. Seems like anything that involves fun they hassle us over (i.e. any recreational/motorsports activity), instead of enforcing real crimes that involve safety etc.

Last year I was popped with a $550 misdimeanor for having one empty beer bottle on the beach in a garbage bag. Seems as though some hater reported that they saw it. A misdimeanor? Common.... Meanwhile, I can guarantee there were many other actual drunk boaters on the water, and I had only had one soda--and a diet at that, and never drive while drinking. The most ironic aspect was that we had taken several pieces of broken glass off the beach that day, as we do every time out there, and I have never broken a bottle on the beach. They claim the alcohol ban was due to underage drinkers at one of the other beaches causing a lot of problems in previous years. So, I say, why not just lock up those causing the problems? Not the way it goes in california it seems. That day taught me never to say a word to law enforcement because if I had kept my mouth shut he couldn't have proven it was mine, so last time I will cooperate.

Oh well, I think we are in for several more years of this nonsense, as it seems like the politically popular sentiment at the moment is to punish success and a boat is a sign of success I guess....

Thrall
08-14-2009, 03:53 PM
CO is getting the same way! Stopped 5 times on Rifle Gap in 2 outings. Not to mention the "barnacle checkpoint" before you put in. (Almost had to knock out a barney fife who was goingto get into my boat with his sandy boots on to check the bilge!)
1st trip, 2 separate stops for safety checks. One moron got off at noon and the 2nd one found it necessary to check the boat again. 3rd stop for swimming too far away from the boat. Farhtest person away was maybe 15' from teh boat taking a leak! Fife said it's a "good idea" to stay within an arms length of the boat while in the water. Asked him where tht was written and he had the audacity to say it was a rule they made up for that lake!
2nd trip. Pulled over once for skiing (boarding) in a no ski zone. Bouy said "ski west" and that's what we were doing. He said it meant we had to stay on the west side of the bouy. Anyone ever seen a "no ski zone" in teh middle of a lake that is not a no wake zone??? 2nd stop, same d0uch3 bag, for a safety check.
Haven't been back since!

ROB
08-15-2009, 12:26 PM
"Slightly nervewracking, but worth it for the glassy waters. The river is probably no wider than 250ft at any given point." While I am certainly sympathetic with your case, perhaps in hindsight, this particular location is simply not conducive for a safe experience. Rider safety is always paramount, but so is good judgement. Lesson learned. If you do have the time to go to court and fight, IMHO the only shot you have is for the officer to pull a "no show." Good luck, I hope things turn out well.

RoverGuy04
08-15-2009, 04:57 PM
"Slightly nervewracking, but worth it for the glassy waters. The river is probably no wider than 250ft at any given point." While I am certainly sympathetic with your case, perhaps in hindsight, this particular location is simply not conducive for a safe experience. Rider safety is always paramount, but so is good judgement. Lesson learned. If you do have the time to go to court and fight, IMHO the only shot you have is for the officer to pull a "no show." Good luck, I hope things turn out well.

I certainly agree with you here, and if you read further into the first post you will see that this was my first time boating/skiing in this particular part of the Sacramento river and I was on a friends boat. My friend has been skiing this particular section of the river for years and is fully aware of the dangers it poses. He assured me that it was safe as long as we stayed in the middle of the river. Of course I have no desire nor need to ever return to this section again because the good water comes at too high of a price. Not only the dangers that the river poses, but the likelihood of recieiving a citation. Considering the situation which resulted in my citation, I feel very confident in stating that good judgement was used. Even better judgement was/is being used by not returning to this spot! I am sure the drag boat guys will be even happier for it! Today I returned to the section of the river (by car) where the citation took place and took quite a few photos from the levee for my case. I will post the pictures in a bit. My arraignment is scheduled for September 21st...

ROB
08-15-2009, 06:21 PM
RoverGuy, I certainly don't mean to sound judgemental. I think we have all been in situations where if we had more information, we would have made another decision. And, I think that should be your defense if in fact the officer does show. Admit that your first thought was the safety of your crew and rider. I believe if you come accross as an individual who is respectful of the law, but found himself in a position that required a decision that is contrary to the law, the judge may be lienent and dismiss, if not, a slap on the wrist. I wish you well.

RoverGuy04
08-15-2009, 07:07 PM
RoverGuy, I certainly don't mean to sound judgemental. I think we have all been in situations where if we had more information, we would have made another decision. And, I think that should be your defense if in fact the officer does show. Admit that your first thought was the safety of your crew and rider. I believe if you come accross as an individual who is respectful of the law, but found himself in a position that required a decision that is contrary to the law, the judge may be lienent and dismiss, if not, a slap on the wrist. I wish you well.

I certainly did not take your first response as being judgemental so no worries! I am basing my entire case on safety here. Another teamtalk member had posted some information about a responsibility clause in the beginning of the boaters handbook which I found and believe will act as supportive information. The clause reads, "In construing and complying with the inland rules of the road, due regard shall be had to all dangers of navigation and collision and to any special circumstances, including the limitations of the vessels involved, which may make a departure from the rules of the road necessary to avoid immediate danger." Thanks for your wishes...

jlf
08-17-2009, 07:55 AM
My husband and my cousin both got tickets about a week apart a couple of years ago on the Mississippi for a very similar situation as yours. My husband did the math, taking time off of work to be at court twice was more than just paying the ticket. My husband just paid the tickets. My cousin went to court and tried to fight the ticket. The judge basically told him he was guilty the law enforcement agent's word was truth. He didn't even get to tell his side of the story.