Showing posts with label safety. Show all posts
Showing posts with label safety. Show all posts

Saturday, October 30, 2010

~~Happy Trick-Or-Treating~~

Don't forget to send me your Halloween or autumn photos!!

Have a safe evening of Trick-Or-Treating !!
Don't Forget --

Trick-Or-Treat at Midway on route 13 south of Pocomoke.

Events at Delmarva Discovery Center in downtonw Pocomoke.

The Haunted Forest- sponsored by the New Church Vol. Fire Dept., Firehouse Ave., New Church, Virginia (This is really scary)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Laser Pointers Being Aimed At Helicopters

OCEAN CITY -- Abuse of laser pointers in downtown Ocean City has gotten so bad that the Town Council plans to deny them to children and outlaw their use in all manner of public places.

"It really shouldn't be in the hands of children," said Police Chief Bernadette DiPino. "They really don't know what they're dealing with. It's not a toy ... We believe this will give us the tools we need to try to reduce the incidents."

DiPino told the council at Tuesday's work session that the Coast Guard and pilots of a Maryland State Police medevac helicopter already have complained that laser pointers have interfered with their operation.

Medevac pilots warned that they wouldn't attempt future landings in Ocean City if laser beams continued to be a threat, DiPino added.

State Police spokesman Greg Shipley confirmed that such an incident occurred over the weekend.

It's already a misdemeanor in Ocean City, and under state law, to shine any laser pointer on another person.

However, as the popularity of green-colored laser pointers has skyrocketed this summer, resort officials planned to tighten that law by banning their use on gathering spots like balconies, porches or patios.

Now, before the council gets a chance to make those changes, further restrictions on laser pointer abuse will be implemented. Council President Joe Mitrecic said the updated law will be passed Monday as emergency legislation.

The newly amended ordinance would make it illegal to shine lasers not just on people, but on any sort of vehicle, including cars, bikes, scooters, buses, trams, motorcycles, Segways or wheelchairs.

Proposed changes also include outlawing sales and possession of laser pointers to minors, and mandating that laser pointer vendors post conspicuous signs about the town's law while providing buyers with a written copy of the law. Violations would be punishable by a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.

Joey Kroart, of Boardwalk store Ocean Gallery, said he's queried customers as to whether they were cautioned by clerks when buying their laser pointers.

"We have yet to speak with someone who said that they were," he said. "In fact, one woman reacted somewhat angrily, remarking that 'they told us that that the red ones were dangerous, but that these were safe!'"

Shining laser pointers on boats or aircraft also would be punishable, according to the law.

More than 30,000 laser pointers have been sold in Ocean City this year by 23 stores, according to research by police, where they they sell for $30 to $50 each. Their reach extends into West Ocean City, where a Sunsations megastore advertises it stocks them on an outdoor electronic billboard to anyone coming in on Route 50.

Green laser pointers, more powerful than red ones popular a decade ago, shine not just a dot at a distance, but send a long green beam across the darkness.

"I was down there this weekend on the Boardwalk, and I tell you, it's like Star Wars," said Councilman Doug Cymek.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Boaters Stranded Nearly Three Hours Near Bay Bridge

Five boaters spent hours stranded in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay after their 14-foot power boat capsized Saturday, floating in the water before they were rescued by the crew of a sailboat returning from a regatta.

Though a child on board was wearing a life preserver, none of the other passengers were. The boaters broke no laws, but state officials said the incident should serve as a reminder that everyone is safer when wearing a life vest.

Jose Reyes and four others were aboard the 1967 Appleby returning to Sandy Point State Park when a large wave caught their boat, causing it to flip around 9 p.m. Saturday, said Sgt. Art Windemuth of the Department of Natural Resources Police.

Reyes, 12-year-old Oscar Flores, and his father, Oscar Samuel Flores, 32, all of Silver Spring, were able to cling to the overturned boat and keep their heads above water. But two other passengers, Anna Daci Garcia, 36 and Carlos Eskabar, 31, of Hyattsville were not able to make it back to the boat and instead clutched a cooler, Windemuth said.

Only the 12-year-old was wearing a life vest, Windemuth said. He said Reyes told rescuers that the abrupt wave hit before the adults could grab vests. The law requires only children under 13 to wear one, but Windemuth said adults should always do the same.

In the 17 boating fatalities last year, 16 people were not wearing life vests and eight fatalities were the result of alcohol or drug use while boating. In Saturday's incident, Windemuth said, no alcohol was involved. But even though Reyes had some boating experience, Windemuth said that "part of boating is knowing how to operate a vessel in certain sea conditions."

Windemuth said Reyes used a battery-operated light to attract passing vessels. He was unsuccessful until Captain Larry Vazzano and four crew members aboard the Wharf Rat, a CS 40 sailboat returning from the Eastport Yacht Club's Solomons Island Invitational race, came across the capsized boat around 11 p.m.

Vazzano, 59, a retired teacher from Mt. Airy, said his crew was passing the Magothy River and the Baltimore Light lighthouse when he and several others heard faint cries.

"We heard, 'Help. Help. Help us,'" Vazzano recalled, saying at first they thought the sound might have been a bird in the distance. Then, Vazzano said, he saw the flashes of light. "We motored over and saw three people clinging to a small overturned boat," Vazzano said. The crew on the Wharf Rat called mayday, alerting the Coast Guard of the capsized boat near the Bay Bridge. They then threw a "man overboard line," a U-shaped ring with a nylon rope. The boat circled the three stranded boaters, picking them up.

After Reyes was pulled aboard, he told Vazzano that Eskabar and Garcia were still in the water and had drifted away from the boat.

"I thought, 'These folks are done for it,'" Vazzano said. But after offering the three blankets, food and water, Vazzano said they heard that Garcia and Eskabar were rescued by Department of Natural Resources Police.

Cpl. Aaron Parker with the Maryland Natural Resources Police was the first to find the pair who had been buoyed by the cooler for close to three hours and called another patrol boat to assist with the rescue. They were taken to Gibson Island Marina, where they were then taken to Baltimore Washington Medical Center and treated for shock and chills, Windemuth said.

Each year, the Natural Resources Police receive close to 3,000 maritime-related calls, according to Windemuth. Of those calls, 301 required boating assists with 201 serious enough that they caused more than $200,000 in damage or required more than first aid treatment to boaters involved.

"I've never done a real rescue," said Vazzano, who belongs to the Rock Creek Racing Association and is a licensed Coast Guard captain who owns the Atlantic Sailing Experience LLC. The 25-year veteran sailor said he regularly attends safety seminars, including one this past spring, practicing the technique the crew used to pick up the group Saturday.

"It was a textbook case," he said. "I imagine they would've lasted another hour."

He said that when the crew returned to shore, the rescued boaters gave them hugs.

"We were ecstatic that we were in the right place at the right time," Vazzano said.

For safety tips, Windemuth said boaters should check out