Archive for August 2012
HOQUIAM, Wash. – A Pacific Beach man tried to escape arrest yesterday by swiming back and forth across the Hoquiam river. Chief Criminal Deputy Dave Pimental tells us the pursuit began when a Sheriff’s Deputy spotted the man passing another vehicle in a no passing zone just West of Hoquiam. The man abandoned his 92 Honda Accord, and passenger, in the Hoquiam Shipyard parking lot, before jumping into the river. When he was met by Hoquiam officers on the other side, he attempted to swim back and forth until he tired out and surrendered to officers.
Pimental said the 28 year old was booked into the Grays Harbor County jail on multiple charges after being treated for possible hypothermia, his female passenger was cited for providing a false statement to an officer.
Here are three steps every boater can take to reduce the risk of accidents and/or prevent serious injuries and ensure a safe and enjoyable weekend:
Boaters should always wear a lifejacket. The number one cause of boating fatalities is drowning, most often by sudden, unexpected entry into the water. Wearing a lifejacket increases the chances of surviving a boating accident. The law states you must have a life jacket, or personal floatation device, for every person on board. The Coast Guard recommends boaters wear lifejackets at all times. It is much more difficult to locate, access and don a life jacket after an accident occurs.
Never boat under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Alcohol and drugs affect judgment, vision, balance and coordination. Alcohol, combined with boat motion, vibration, engine noise, sun, wind and spray accelerates an operator’s impairment. Intoxicated boaters can face both federal and state charges with penalties of up to one year in prison and fines up to $100,000. The legal definition of intoxication in Oregon and Washington is blood alcohol content of .08. Don’t be fooled into thinking that lesser amounts of alcohol consumption are OK, or that passengers aren’t at risk if they drink. The latest study on boating and alcohol indicates that the risk of a fatality rises significantly at amounts as low as .02 BAC.
Dress for the water, not the weather:
Water temperatures throughout the Pacific Northwest remain in the 50s during this time of year. The risk of hypothermia increases with lower water temperatures, and survivability time in the water decreases. Wet suits and other personal protective equipment assist the body as an insulator, limiting exposure to dangerous water temperatures.
Generally speaking, recreational boaters should make a concerted effort to keep out of the way of large commercial vessels, including ferries, tug and tow configurations, and freighters. Due to powerful currents these vessels must maintain a moderate speed, and it can often take more than a mile to stop. Making way for larger vessels promotes the safety of all mariners.
Additional steps all boaters can take:
- File a float plan and leave it with someone at home. A float plan says where you are going and when you plan on returning, which helps emergency responders locate distressed mariners. CLICK HERE for more information on float plans.
- Have a marine band radio and visual distress signals. All of these devices will greatly assist you if you are in distress. CLICK HERE for more information on visual distress signals.
- Have a registered 406MHz Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon. CLICK HERE to learn more about registering your EPIRB
The Coast Guard and local marine agencies ask boaters to help be their eyes and ears on the water. Boaters who see suspicious activity should immediately call 911, Coast Guard District 13 Command Center at (206) 217-7001, Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound at (206) 217-6001, Coast Guard Sector Columbia River (503) 861-6211 or the Coast Guard’s National Response Center at 1-877-24WATCH (1-877-249-2824).
Talia Date and Megan Day, both 22 of Chehalis, are being referred to the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office for furnishing liquor to a minor, a gross misdemeanor. Sheriff Steve Mansfield tells KBKW “Through a lengthy investigation by my Office, it was determined that both women supplied alcohol to minors the night of the party in which 16 year old Tyler Gonzalez died.
Gonzalez was at a party in the 100 block of Brockway Road and had been consuming alcohol. He wandered away from the party and was later struck by a vehicle while lying in the roadway. As a result of being struck by the vehicle, Gonzalez died of blunt internal trauma to the head, chest, and abdomen. His post mortem ethanol level was .17.
“The supplying and voluntary consumption of alcohol ultimately led to Tyler Gonzalez’s death. This is a sad, tragic and preventable accident. The initial actions of these two women ultimately set things in motion for the tragedy to occur. Tyler voluntarily drank the alcohol; however, one must wonder if he would still be alive today had he not had access and consumed the alcohol which ultimately caused him to make some poor decisions resulting in his death. Family, friends, relatives and the woman who struck Tyler will be forever affected by the choices made that night. I would hope the circumstances surrounding Tyler’s death will serve as a sobering reminder of the consequences and long term effects of people supplying alcohol to minors,”said Sheriff Mansfield.
Swimming in polluted water can cause upper respiratory infections, stomach flus, skin rashes and ear infections.
Oregon beaches were quite clean this summer, with all 11 regularly monitored beaches in Clatsop and Tillamook counties receiving A grades for the third straight year. Unfortunately, while 41 beaches in Oregon were monitored throughout the summer, only the 11 sites were monitored frequently enough (at least weekly) to be considered for the report.
Despite the generally upbeat news about beach water quality in the Northwest, beachgoers should be concerned about proposed federal funding cuts that jeopardize ongoing monitoring of sites in Washington, and other sites throughout the United States.
The federal Administration’s proposed budget for 2013 eliminates all funding for the development and implementation of beach monitoring and notification programs. Washington’s Department of Ecology & Health and Oregon’s Department of Health Services rely heavily on these funds to monitor beaches. If federal support is slashed, strapped local agencies face the daunting task of securing alternative funding.
To learn more about specific beaches in Oregon and Washington, users can check updated weekly grades at www.beachreportcard.org. Heal the Bay offers the searchable online database as a free public service. Users can find out which beaches are safe and unsafe, check recent water quality history and look up details on beach closures.
A free Beach Report Card app for IPhone and Android users allows ocean lovers to check A through F grades, weather conditions and users tips for more than 650 beaches along the Pacific Coast. Links to the app can be found at www.beachreportcard.org
Heal the Bay has graded more than 500 California beaches for two decades, helping protect the health of millions of ocean goers each year. Building on that success, program managers expanded reporting to Washington and Oregon beaches in 2010.
About the Beach Report Card
The Beach Report Card is based on the routine monitoring of beaches by Oregon’s Department of Health Services and Washington’s Department of Ecology, and would not be possible without their cooperation. These agencies collect and analyze marine water samples for bacteria that indicate pollution from numerous sources, including fecal waste. Heal the Bay compiles the data, analyzes it and assigns easy-to-understand letter grades. Its methodology is the only one endorsed by California’s State Water Resources Control Board, a government entity.
Heal the Bay’s Beach Report Card is made possible by the generous support of the The Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation, simplehuman, LACarGuy, the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) and the Grousbeck Family Foundation.
For a PDF version of this year’s detailed report card please visit healthebay.org/BRCsummer2012.
After receiving several hundred comments on the first draft, Ecology revised the technical support document. The update:
- · Focuses on scientific and technical issues, and removes perceived regulatory decisions, including a recommended range for fish consumption rates. Decisions on how to use the data will be part of the formal public regulatory process of revising the state’s surface water quality standards with human health criteria, which will include a fish consumption rate.
- · Adds more information about fish consumption and exposure to contamination faced by both the general and recreational fishing population.
You can find the second draft of the Fish Consumption Rates Technical Support Document on Ecology’s website. Comments will be accepted through Oct. 26.
Here’s how you can submit comments:
- · Mail them to Adrienne Dorrah, Washington Department of Ecology, Toxics Cleanup Program, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600.
- · Email them to [email protected].
Ecology will review, consider and respond to all comments. The second draft document may be modified based on public comments.
Ecology expects to finalize the technical support document in late fall. Staff will hold technical meetings to discuss the draft document in the next few months. Meetings will be announced at a later date.
- · First Monday of every month at noon
- · September 3, 2012
- · All Grays Harbor County Sirens
Montesano, WA – Washington State Emergency Management will conduct its monthly countywide AHAB (All Hazard Alert Broadcast) Siren test on Monday, September 3, 2012, at noon.
AHAB sirens are located in Pacific Beach, Copalis Beach, Ocean City, Ocean Shores, Hoquiam, Aberdeen, Moclips, Westport and Grayland. All Grays Harbor County sirens will be included in the test beginning at noon.
AHAB sirens have a range of about one mile in radius depending on topography and weather. The activation will be Westminster Chimes followed by a test voice message. These sirens are meant to provide emergency notification to people who are OUTDOORS! Residents and businesses located within a tsunami inundation area are encouraged to maintain a working NOAA Weather Radio.
Please DO NOT CALL 911 regarding this testing. If you have any questions or reports regarding the test, please contact Grays Harbor County Emergency Management at 360-249-3911 or [email protected].