Powerboat racer fined for negligent operations

BAY CITY, Mich — The Coast Guard received payment Oct. 13, 2017, from a fine issued to a power boat racer in the amount of $1,000 for negligent operations for transiting at high speeds around a freight ship and failing to observe a ‘No Wake Zone’.

Failing to follow posted and published navigation rules can have serious safety consequences that lead to injury or death.

The payment was received for a violation that occurred June 21, 2017, on the Saginaw River, when an individual operating an outboard racing boat was underway in the vicinity of the Liberty Bridge.

The driver and vessel were to participate in a racing event sanctioned by the International Outboard Grand Prix scheduled later in the week. In a very public display of negligent vessel operation, the operator failed to observe the posted ‘No Wake Zone’ and also conducted a high speed “lap” around a transiting freight ship more than 600 feet long, which was approaching the opened Liberty Draw Bridge.

As a result, the individual was placed on probation with the race organization for the remainder of the season and the U.S. Coast Guard sought a civil penalty in the amount of $1,000 that was later paid by the individual.

The U.S. Coast Guard, along with its state and local partners, is responsible for educating the public about recreational boating safety.

Recreational boaters should be aware of specific speed restrictions and other regulations pertaining to their areas of operation. Crossing the bow of a large, moving freight ship with limited maneuverability is not something that an educated and prudent operator should ever attempt. Boat motor stalls during this type of maneuver have proven to be catastrophic for boaters failing to recognize hazards inherent to marine operations.

For more information regarding recreational boating safety, please visit the Coast Guard’s boating safety website at www.uscgboating.org/.

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