Water Safety Patrol

by Dan Cardinal, OIC, Manitowish Waters Boat Patrol

Summer has finally arrived and water activity on the Chain has increased proportionately. Water Safety Officer Zak Paulson took a job as a Milwaukee County Deputy in June. While he hoped to get back up on the Chain a few days this summer, his schedule has not permitted it. Leah and I have been out on the water several times, and with all of the help from you, she is learning her way around the Chain and enjoying the job.

The weather on July 4th was challenging at best, but between the rain showers it was obvious that people were enjoying themselves. The weather was spectacular on the 5th as was water activity. The fireworks show was great and enjoyed by many boaters. Boat Patrol appreciated the help of spectator boats respecting the 400-foot safety setback from the fireworks launch area.

After the show, the trip up the Manitowish River from Rest Lake to Stone Lake was very orderly. All observed boats had proper navigation lights. We did not observe any illegal use of blue lights this year, and the illegal use of “Docking Lights” used as head lights while under way, seemed to be down this year.

Again, this year the most common complaints have been about boats exceeding the Slow-No-Wake speeds in the posted areas. “Slow, No Wake Speed” means a speed at which a vessel moves as slowly as possible while still maintaining steerage control. This means you must also slow down your boat to slow no wake speed before you enter a S-N-W restricted area, and until your boat is safely beyond the S-N-W buoy after you have left the restricted area.

Your boat patrol cannot be everywhere and if you observe violations it is best to call the Town office at 715-543-8400 and report the violation to Dana with the time, location, and what the violation was. She will then inform the town board members and they will contact us.

Safety is your boat patrol’s primary responsibility and with your help we can continue to keep boating on the Manitowish Chain a safe and enjoyable experience. Please become educated about Wisconsin boating laws. Copies are available at the MW Chamber Office or click the link below to access The Handbook of Wisconsin Boating Laws and Responsibilities: