Dear Mr. Forgrave,
As an owner of a "Cigarette" stlye boat (we normally refer to ourselves as "performance boaters"), I would like to say that, as a community, we abhor and condemn the apparent actions of the driver of the offending boat involved in Friday night's accident on the Ohio River. By all accounts, this individual has shown a pattern of less-than-proper operation, and this recent incident underscores his irresponsibility in ways that defy common sense.
Our hearts and prayers go out to those innocent victims who were simply out for a pleasant evening cruise and have had their lives so dramatically interrupted. We hope and pray that they all make a speedy and complete recovery.
That being said, I'd also like to take this opportunity to defend performance boaters against those who may feel that we are all irresponsible and reckless. While every demographic group will contain a sufficient number of those who behave badly, I have come to learn over the years that performance boaters as a group tend to be considerably more aware of their surroundings and treat their behavior on the water far more seriously than most boaters. This is only logical, considering the nature of the boats we choose to own. We understand that anyone who is passed by a boat going faster than himself tends to regard the faster boater with some disdain - this is simply human nature. We enjoy our boating lifestyle, and we feel that those who choose to purchase and operate a houseboat, sailboat, cruiser, fishing boat, pontoon boat or whatever have every right to enjoy their boats in an atmosphere of safety and courtesy as well.
There will no doubt be an outcry for new laws or regulations to prevent future accidents of this nature, but the truth is that every law, statute, rule and/or regulation required to prevent such accidents is already on the books. The sad fact is that you simply cannot legislate human behavior.
Oh, that you could.
PS - For an enlightening look into how performance boaters feel about this accident, visit the "General Discussions" forum area of "OffshoreOnly.com" and view this thread: Crash on Ohio river / Dayton KY