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Fatal collision may spark bill

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Old 08-25-2005, 02:02 PM
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Default Re: Fatal collision may spark bill

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Originally Posted by Downtown42
what is width and length of SML?
found this

Smith Mountain Lake is a beautiful man-made lake about 30 miles southwest of Lynchburg. Covering 20,000 acres of land, the 40-mile long lake was created by the damming of the Roanoke River at Smith Mountain Gap. Recreational activities include boating, fishing, restaurants, golfing and a state park with beaches and camping. Much of the 500 miles of shoreline has been developed with houses, townhomes, and condominiums, making the lake a premiere resort and retirement area.
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Old 08-25-2005, 03:21 PM
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Default Re: Fatal collision may spark bill

It is fairly narrow in spots and can be dangerous during the day, much less at night. The wardens are already complaining about the legislation this idiot passed that now requires they patrol the lake all week long. Because they are stretched thin on resources, they can't patrol as heavily on weekends because of this new law. Now he wants to do it again?? That my friend is a typical politician.
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Old 08-25-2005, 03:28 PM
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Default Re: Fatal collision may spark bill

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Originally Posted by Downtown42
what is width and length of SML?
most of the main channels are near a 1/4 mile wide, of course there are closer and wider points, water depth's in the channel range from 40ft to 180ft.
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Old 08-25-2005, 03:31 PM
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Default Re: Fatal collision may spark bill

if you need some sort of legislation how about making every boater pass a written safety test,
that would be the first place to start.
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Old 08-25-2005, 03:41 PM
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Default Re: Fatal collision may spark bill

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Originally Posted by mwdill
if you need some sort of legislation how about making every boater pass a written safety test,
that would be the first place to start.
You know, as one who is almost always on the side of less government and legislation, I wouldn't mind a test for everyone who wants to operate a boat of any kind. It will not help the idiots who refuse to act responsibly but we could all benefit from the higher knowledge gained by the boating community as a whole.

Check out this article..

Wardens' work doesn't cut wrecks


A mandated patrol law has forced the department to reduce patrols during some of the lake's busiest times. Do you dare go out on the lake?


By Mark Taylor
981-3395
The Roanoke Times



MONETA - Virginia game wardens have spent more time than ever patrolling Smith Mountain Lake this summer, but added patrols haven't necessarily made the state's most dangerous body of water safer.


Because of a law that went into effect July 1, the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is required to have at least one warden on patrol at the lake during daylight hours from the Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. The law has more than doubled the shifts wardens are pulling at the lake, but in its first month the statute didn't reduceAdvertisement

accidents.

In July there were nine reported accidents at the lake, matching the number of accidents in July 2004.

Accidents must be reported if they result in $2,000 worth of property damage, injury requiring treatment beyond first aid, or a fatality.

August's three fatalities match the total number of boaters killed at the lake in 2004.

The mandated patrol law has forced the department to reduce patrols during some of the lake's busiest times in order to operate patrols during quieter times on the lake.

Last year wardens conducted 10 sobriety checkpoint operations on the lake. This year they have conducted just two.

Saturday night, when two boaters were killed in a collision between two powerboats, a single team of two wardens was on patrol. Wardens almost always work the lake in two-person teams.

"Normally on a Saturday night, we would have had two or three boats on patrol," said game warden Capt. Ron Henry, head of the law enforcement operations in the department's Region II, which covers Smith Mountain Lake. "But I had my guys tied up all week."

Henry used to schedule heavy patrols on weekends, and random patrols during the week.

One boat isn't enough when the lake is busy, said Gerald Massengill, the agency's acting director.

"You cannot police that lake with one boat," Massengill said.

To meet staffing needs, Henry and warden lieutenants Tony Fisher and Karl Martin have had to pull wardens from 22 counties. Some have had to spend nights in area motels so they could work shifts on consecutive days.

"We would rather not have wardens driving in from long distances," Massengill said. "We would rather have wardens who are part of the community."

Lake needs also have reduced wardens' efforts on their home turf, Massengill said.

To get to the lake in time for his 6 a.m. to noon patrol Tuesday, Sgt. Bill Kidd from Buckingham County had to set his alarm for 3:20 a.m.

He and patrol partner Dewayne Sprinkle spent much of the first three hours of the shift sitting at a picnic table under a covered boat slip, catching up on computer work and paperwork as a steady rain fell.

"We've seen one boat," Sprinkle said.

Massengill spent part of a recent Friday on the water with Henry.

"What I wanted to see was the enormity of the situation," said Massengill, the retired superintendant of the Virginia State Police.

Massengill said he came away with an appreciation of the need for beefed-up patrols.

"We don't disagree that we need resources on that lake pretty much all the time," he said. "But we would like to have the flexibility to use our resources to the fullest extent."

Massengill said department officials are developing a proposed plan for future law enforcement efforts at Smith Mountain Lake, which will become busier as shoreline development continues.

He would like not only for the department to regain control of patrol scheduling, but also would like to get additional funding to cover the area's growing law enforcement needs.

"I'm going to be talking to legislators about our concerns up there," Massengill said.

The plan will probably call for more wardens to be assigned to the area, and maybe even a substation at the lake, Massengill said.

Tuesday morning Sprinkle and Kidd got busy once the rain stopped and boats started running.

After checking the fishing licenses and safety equipment on a couple of bass boats, the two spotted a pair of Yamaha Wave Runners. One of the drivers appeared to turn near his friend in an attempt to spray him with a wake.

Sprinkle gunned the wardens' boat to try to catch up with the drivers of the speeding personal watercraft. They stopped on their own before they realized they were being pursued.

Sprinkle asked one of the men, Dean Pompeilio of Olney, Md., if he knew it was against the law to operate the craft at speed within 50 feet of another vessel. Pompeilio was argumentative from the outset, but got really irked when Sprinkle started writing out a summons for reckless operation of a watercraft.

"I'll give you your d--- money for your ticket," he fumed. "I can make that money in 20 minutes."

He wasn't done.

"You're out here on a day when there is no one on the water," Pompeilio continued. "You should have been out on the lake Sunday. There were a bunch of crazy people out here. I almost got killed trying to wakeboard."

The warden kept writing.

"We were out here Sunday, sir," Sprinkle said calmly. "We're out here every day."

Smith Mountain Lake boating accidents

2001 Accidents 47 Fatalities 0

2002 Accidents 35 Fatalities 0

2003 Accidents 20 Fatalities 1

2004 Accidents 31 Fatalities 3

2005 Accidents 22 Fatalities 3
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Old 08-25-2005, 04:58 PM
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Default Re: Fatal collision may spark bill

There is no "Written Test", no "Law", no "Legislative Bill" or any type of government that will overcome the lack of common sence!!!!
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Old 08-25-2005, 06:10 PM
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Default Re: Fatal collision may spark bill

Too bad the politicians didn't act this quick against tobacco, it kills more than just a few people
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Old 08-26-2005, 02:51 PM
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Default Re: Fatal collision may spark bill

Quote:
Originally Posted by haulinvols
Granted, I have never been to SML, but does that sound right? More boats out at night than during the day?
The moron that made that quote is either uneducated to the facts of SML or is predujucied beyond belief. This fact is simply NOT true.... NOT even close to be true!
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Old 08-26-2005, 03:32 PM
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Default Re: Fatal collision may spark bill

could you imagine if they posted a speed limit for inland lakes? Boat sales would definately decrease
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Old 08-26-2005, 03:40 PM
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Default Re: Fatal collision may spark bill

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Originally Posted by mobilecal
could you imagine if they posted a speed limit for inland lakes? Boat sales would definately decrease
Yikes, don't even think that. Cumberland is a 100 mile long lake and despite that fact that there has never been a go fast fatality there, some do-gooders just don't like the idea of fast boats and have openly said they think they should be banned from the lake outright.
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