Boating Safety

As most of you know Great East Lake is not patrolled by either NH or ME safety/enforcement personnel on a continuous basis. Visitations by each state do occur on somewhat unpredictable intervals, but due especially to budgeting and peoplepower considerations most patrols take place on an ―as needed‖ basis—in most cases in response to calls from lake residents. Based on those continuing considerations and many discussions with both agencies, that’s the way it’s going to be for a long while.

So what are you going to do if you see the need to have a boating safety patrol visit the lake? (KEEP IN MIND THAT IN TRUE EMERGENCIES DIALING 911 IS THE PROPER CALL).

MAINE: The Maine Warden Service, a division of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, is the agency to call. They are reached at 1-800-452-4664 which is actually Dept. of Public Safety Dispatch in Augusta, Me. An alternate number is 1-800-228-0857 in Gray, ME. Identify yourself and address and ask to have a warden call you.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Call the NH Department Of Safety Marine Patrol in Guilford, NH at 1-603-293-2037. You can relate your request to them but the better move is to ask to have an officer call you.

Note: These telephone numbers are noted on your GELIA refrigerator magnets

Some tips:

  • Identify yourself, say ―this is a call for service‖(note: they may assign a number to your call), ask for a warden or officer to call you back, record the date and time you made the call, and when you received a response
  • If reporting an offending boating operation, record state registration number, pictures of the boat and operator(movies are the best!!), record date and time
  • The more complaints they get the more they’re apt to act
  • A step beyond the simple reporting of an alleged violation–You are entitled to lodge a citizen’s complaint. If you do, keep in mind that you will have to be prepared to appear in court. Also, if anonymity is important to you, when a formal complaint is registered, your name may go out over the airways and local scanners
  • The best results are usually obtained when you talk with an officer and he/she visits the lake to witness the situation personally and to take appropriate action i.e. ―friendly visit‖, warning, issue citation, etc.
  • Although the system works somewhat slowly, I think you’ll find the law enforcement folks helpful and cooperative. They have had results!

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