7/15/20 – Patrolling the Pond

I predicted July 4th weekend would be most challenging with our increased population; however, I was greatly mistaken.  Saturday had only a few minor stops, Saturday, the 4th, was almost perfect.  When water skiing and PWC’s are separated everything goes a lot smother on the pond.  I’m willing to predict we had 1,200 to 1,400 watercrafts on the lake for the fireworks show.  It goes down as one of the best performances ever.  As one looked from the dam, you would see boat lights from B block clear to I Block and going south covering most of K block…….what a crowd and NOT one incident!

The patrol did stop a few boaters for speeding into and out of coves.  I’m still seeing way too many people at Goat Hill anchored and individuals are swimming for than 100 foot from their boat or from land.  This is a 3 pt citation per person …….also it is a major safety issue.  A couple of years ago my son’s niece was swimming in his backyard pool.  Most of the inhabitants were adults.  The little girl went under and no one noticed for a few seconds.  Luckily, my daughter-in-law is an RN and saved the little one.  A drowning can happen fast……FACT……when one is drowning they do not yell out for “Help”  as in the movies.

We have LOTS of new people on the Pond now.  I’m talking only being here for two to three weeks.  If you are their neighbors, please welcome them and acquaint them with our Rules & Regulations.  Its helps, them, helps you, and HELPS the lake.

A big “Shout Out” to paddle boarders, everyone the patrol has observed has either a flotation device on or it attached to the front of the board…….thank you.

Just a couple of issues…..firstly, ski flags.  We are seeing more and more of the suction cup flags attached to the side windows behind the front windshield.  These do not work.  I purchased one myself several years ago; however, when one moves forward in their boat, the flag bend backwards almost to a 40-degree angle.  PLEASE do NOT purchase this type of flag.  Secondly, the patrol is still seeing pontoons in the evening with their flood lights on.  This is a hazard to other boaters especially when it becomes dark.  Flood Lights are only used to moor your watercraft.  I know a pontoon last week must have had no lights on because they crashed into and over the cove marker on the far west end.  Nice dents and cracks on the cylinder top.  Everybody…… cost almost $1,000 per, they should last for years…….they even have nice blinking lights on top.  Please pay attention when driving at night.  Speaking of night, this one was beyond belief.  Someone hit and snagged sail buoy #4 about S 20 and drug it clear over to L-10. Driving lessons or do not drive at night for this soul on the water.

I am sure everyone is getting geared up for the Pandemic Paddle Party July 18th.  The course will run from sail buoy #1 to buoy #4.  The event starts at 7:00 AM and ends about 9:30 AM.  I am asking that water skiing steer clear of this area and move your activity to the south end of the lake or the far west end.  The patrol will keep heavy traffic away, so large wakes do not interfere with the kayaks as they venture on their course.  Please support this cause for it is a fund raiser for the Lotawana Ski Club.  The kids will greatly appreciate your contributions.

Hot News Report…………I received a call from T-5 dock about a Blue Heron being tangled up in fishing line and could not move his legs.  Officer on duty was Jacob Fisher.  What makes this story interesting, Jacob worked for the Missouri Conservation Department last summer under the guidance of Lt. Travis Goreham who just happened to be one of my interns from UCM 20 years ago.  Jacob gained a lot of on the job training working with wild animals in Missouri.  He arrived at the dock and immediately went to work keeping the heron calm and removing the fishing line.  All ended well with the happy heron flying into the wild blue yonder and Jacob returning to his duties on the lake.

I am running into several individuals who are fishing off docks or seawalls and they are not residents of the lake.  YOU the homeowner can grant your friends access to the lake; however, YOU the homeowner or immediate family must ALWAYS be with them.  I personally have run off 17 individuals just coming out to fish or swim and they live nowhere in the area.  They had no idea that Lotawana is a private lake for members and their guest only.  If you observe someone you are not familiar with around your dock, boats, or seawall call the Water Patrol to investigate if they are members of our community.  This also goes for any strange cars/trucks you see on the street acting a little strange, CALL the Lotawana Police Department.  Do not confront anyone by yourself.

I believe the count down for the Marina 27 is getting close.  Everyone that I have had contact with is very excited about the new addition to the Pond.  I cannot wait to pull up in my boat and go in for a drink and appetizer and sit out on the deck and enjoy the sunset……NO, that’s not the patrol boat Craig Davis.  I was recently sent some pics of an interesting new shirt that is going to be worn on our lake.  On the front it states,” Ask me about my water patrol badge.”  The back side says, “Official Water Patrol.”  Jan Olson told be back in March that this was going to be an interesting summer.

See ya

P.S.  The evening of June 28th, Sunday, there was a performance put on for the public at the Yacht Club.  This was the second time the club has provided entertainment for residents of the lake.  I am extremely disappointed with some individuals who made several rude comments to my water patrol intern.  The one most upsetting comment, “ You’re being unreasonable and that’s what got George Floyd killed.”  The man was asked to move his boat  a few feet inside the cove at Goat Hill behind the cove buoy.  When a presentation is being given by the MYC, ALL watercraft are to be out of the main body.   If this is any sign of what’s to come for the rest of the summer, then Lord Have Mercy on Us!