Water Safety Patrol Report

by Dan Perry, Water Safety Patrol Officer

First, we would like to take the time to thank team administrator, Daniel Cardinal, for his many seasons of service as he announced his retirement from Boat Patrol during the winter off season. We wish to acknowledge his numerous contributions to the Boat Patrol and to the community of Manitowish Waters. Enjoy your retirement Daniel, you have most certainly earned it.

The Manitowish Waters Boat Patrol team will resume regular patrols of the chain on Memorial Day weekend. The team consists of three returning Officers from last year, Phil Horter, Dan Perry, and Joe Kraetke. As the team begins this season on the water, we look forward to serving all the recreational boaters of the chain. We want everyone to enjoy themselves and to have a good time while on the water, but to make sure they stay safe and enjoy it in a responsible manner. Be sure to obey all boating and navigation rules and regulations and remember, the use of common sense and courtesy also go a long way towards keeping everyone safe and happy.

Some of the more common rules that boaters should be aware of and pay attention to include:

Carry the required number/type of PFD’s and have them readily accessible:
Make sure to have a correct size PFD on board for everyone, and to have them readily available. (It’s also a good idea to make sure everyone knows exactly where they are.) All watercrafts are required to have the required PFD’s, including kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards.

Obey Slow-No-Wake areas:
There are numerous areas on the Manitowish Waters chain that are marked with Slow-No-Wake buoys. In addition to these, boaters need to operate at slow-no-wake speed when operating within 100’ feet of a shoreline, dock or raft, as well as within 100’ of a marked swim area. Personal watercraft operators need to operate at this speed when within 200’ of a shoreline, and while within 100’ of any other watercraft. Slow-no-wake speed is defined as the slowest possible speed a craft can operate at while still maintaining steerage

Tampering, moving, or destroying aids to navigation:
The town of Manitowish Waters has purchased new Slow-No-Wake buoys for this year, and they are larger and more obvious than the previous ones. Please remember these buoys are there for everyone’s safety and tampering with them or attempting to move them comes with a significant fine. Damaging them can lead to criminal charges.

Waterskiing and tubing hours are from 9 am to 7 pm:
The hours for waterskiing and tubing are restricted on the Manitowish Waters chain by a local ordinance. Please be mindful of this regulation as it differs slightly from the state regulation.

Again, these are just a few of the more common rules boaters often have questions about. Please be sure to familiarize yourself with all Wisconsin boating regulations found in the DNR boaters handbook and feel free to ask our Boat Patrol Officers any questions you may have when you see us out on the water. From all of us on the Boat Patrol Team, we wish you a safe and fun boating season!