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Engine Cut-Off Devices Are Saving Lives

Engine Cut-Off Devices Are Saving Lives
GRDA Police reminds Oklahoma boaters to “Get Connected” and use their engine cut-off device, more commonly referred to as a “kill switch,” every time they go boating. This is essential in the fall and winter months when boating is typically limited to one or two people in a boat for hunting or fishing excursions.
An engine cut-off device is a proven safety device used to stop the boat’s engine should the operator unexpectedly fall overboard when the boat hits a wave, wake, takes a sharp turn, runs into a submerged object, suffers steering failure, has a collision with an object and more. In these events, the wheel is often turned. Unmanned powerboats will often turn in a circle, placing those in the water at risk of being hit by the boat and propeller if the engine cut-off device is not used.
Traditionally, a lanyard attaches the boat operator to the system. Wireless devices are now gaining popularity as well. Some are designed to kill the engine should passengers fall overboard. Our goal is to make use of the engine cut-off device a subconscious safety habit. Like we encourage recreational boaters to wear a life jacket at all times, this initiative will ask boaters to always be equipped with their engine cut-off device. We know this has the potential to prevent propeller strike casualties. Putting this simple safety measure in place is imperative.
Engine cut-off devices can prevent propeller-related injuries, many of which occur after a person falls overboard and is subsequently hit by the vessel’s propulsion unit as the vessel circles around. In 2016 alone, there were 171 accidents in which at least one person was struck by a propeller. Collectively, these accidents resulted in 24 deaths and 175 injuries. If we all go the distance to make sure one is installed, and then utilized every time a boat is on, we are confident we will see a measurable reduction in boater injuries and fatalities.
  • Most propeller injuries and fatalities involve open motorboats from 16 to 25 feet in length and result from operator inattention, inexperience, and carelessness.
  • Emergency engine/propulsion cut-off devices, sometimes referred to as an engine cut-off switch or kill switch, are a time-proven safety device used to stop the boats engines should the operator unexpectedly fall overboard.
  • Accident reports show that using the engine cut-off device prevents propeller injuries and deaths.
  • A majority of boat manufacturers install the systems and provide the device. Older boat models may require a system be installed. There are multiple engine cut-off devices currently available on the market ranging from simple lanyards to wireless models.
More information can be found at www.GetConnectedBoating.org

Keepin' It Grand

Fire Extinguishers Recalled

Fire Extinguishers Recalled
One of the most important pieces of equipment to have on your boat is a fire extinguisher. Not only is it required by law, but it can save your life! One of the nations largest manufacturer of extinguishers recently issued a recall that will affect millions of boaters.
More than 40 million Kidde fire extinguishers equipped with plastic handles, some on the market for more than 40 years, have been recalled. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), “The fire extinguishers can become clogged or require excessive force to discharge and can fail to activate during a fire emergency. In addition, the nozzle can detach with enough force to pose an impact hazard.” The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean water is urging recreational boat owners to check their boats for the recalled extinguishers and get a free metal-handled replacement by going to the CPSC recall website.
We remind all boat owners to check their extinguishers to see if they are subject to a recall and replace them immediately. We recommend that you make it a practice of checking your extinguisher on a regular basis to ensure it is holding a proper charge and replace it regularly to ensure it will work when it is needed.

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

Where cause of death was known, 80% of fatal boating crash victims drowned. Of those drowning victims with reported life jacket usage, 83% were not wearing a life jacket.

Prepping Your Boat for Winter

Prepping Your Boat for Winter
As Winter weather begins to take over, it will soon be that time to put the boats to bed for the season. Here are some things that you can do to help protect your investment for another year.
Fill it up with fuel and add fuel stabilizer. There’s much debate on whether or not to fill the fuel tank and add fuel stabilizer, or to drain it. Draining allows you to fill it up with fresh fuel in the spring; however it also leaves room for condensation to accumulate inside the fuel tank. Filling it up and stabilizing it prevents the formation of condensation; as there just isn’t room for much air/moisture in the top of the filled tank.
Batteries. If possible, put the batteries on a smart charger or battery tender, otherwise, trickle charge the battery once a month to maintain proper charge. The electrolytes inside a discharged battery have a much higher freezing point and are more likely to freeze (cracking/destroying the battery case) when stored for long periods in the areas exposed to freezing temperatures.
Dehumidifiers. Install dehumidifiers, or Damp Away, in the cabins and enclosed areas to help prevent mildew growth. They are available at most service departments.
Remove food, drinks and trash. The critters stay active even when you are not, foraging for anything they can find. Animals love it when you leave food in your boat. They’ll smell it and next thing you know, they're lounging back eating everything you left, and you’re replacing your cover and/or seats. If it’s liquids, remove it because it will freeze and leak the contents everywhere.
Winterize! Don’t lose your investment because you thought it would be okay. Un-winterized engines WILL freeze when exposed to freezing temperatures. Not just engines, but also heat exchangers, oil coolers, power steering coolers, and fresh- water systems can also freeze and burst; requiring replacement, which can be costly.
Drain plugs should be removed, if you store it on a trailer. Remove the bilge drain plug and consider attaching it to the steering wheel with a zip tie, so that in the spring, you’ll remember to re-install it in the spring. Also, raise the trailer tongue to help the rainwater or snow to drain.
Clean the boat. Remove any food, and clean the interior of any spills, crumbs etc., which also gives you the chance to really look at the condition of your cover, carpets, and upholstery. If any damages are noticed, you can replace those over the winter so you will be ready for the spring season.
Covers. Put the support poles up and cover that beautiful boat! Secure the cover tightly, to prevent them from blowing off during storms, windy days, and to deter animals from making a mess out of your boats interior.
Secure your valuables. Don’t leave electronics, fishing equipment or anything else in the boat you don’t mind replacing, because thieves don’t hibernate!
Secure the boat properly. Even if you store the boat on a lift, they can fail, and if your boat is not tied off to the dock it will float away, so make sure it is secured.
Prep your dock. If you don’t plan to spend much time at the lake in the off-season, make sure your dock is properly secured, by checking all cables, clamps, and other hardware to reduce the risk of your dock breaking from its mooring during the often rough winter waters. We also recommend that you consider installing solar-powered motion lights on your dock to discourage thieves and attract attention to your property at night if the lights are activated.

Coats For Kids

Boat Tips From the GLSPS

Boat Tips From the GLSPS
Most capsizes occur from improper loading with too much weight or improper weight distribution. Next to capsizing, falling overboard is the second leading cause of fatal boating accidents. Fishing or hunting during the winter months from small boats can increase the danger because of the heavier clothing and restricted maneuverability should one fall overboard. Remember the cardinal rule for capsizing, “Stay with the boat, don’t swim for shore”. An overturned boat is easier to be seen than a swimmer. Everyone should be wearing a PFD when on the water. Sudden immersion in cold water can cause a gasp reflex with inhalation of water and the potential of drowning. Just being in the cold water can cause rapid uncontrolled breathing, cardiac arrest and other life-threatening situations such as hypothermia.
Interested in learning more about boating? Consider taking a course from the United States Power Squadrons, America’s boating club. For more information visit our website at: usps.org/grandlake or on Face Book at GLSPS.

By the Book

By the Book

The Administrative Regulations of GRDA describe the organizations, operations, and procedures for the Grand River Dam Authority with respect to its administration, rulemaking, and other activities and are intended to supplement and interpret pertinent provisions of state statutes. 

The following information are excerpts of the GRDA Administrative Regulations Title 300 Chapter 35 that are provided in an effort to educate the public about what regulations are enforced on GRDA waterways and properties. Many of these regulations have changed effective September 11, 2017. All GRDA regulations are available for review at GRDA.com.

300:35-3-4. Payment of fees
No permit or license, private or commercial, shall be issued until the appropriate fee has been paid.
300:35-3-5. Transfer or assignment of permit prohibited
Transfer or assignment of permits or licenses issued hereunder (both private and commercial) shall not be made except with written consent and approval of GRDA. The owner of a dock shall be responsible for all fees incurred throughout the time they owned the dock. No person, firm or corporation shall allow his or its name to be used by any other person, firm or corporation to do any work under his or its permit.
300:35-3-7. Rights reserved
These Rules do not cover the taking or using of water for any purpose or use other than those specifically covered herein.
300:35-3-8. Roads and highways
The existing public rights-of-way to the waters or shorelands and boat ramps sponsored by GRDA shall remain open as a way of free public passage to and from the waters of GRDA.

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