New Legislation for Increase Child Protection on Waterways

New Law Requires Children Under 13 to Wear a Personal Flotation Device

Annapolis, Md. (April 13, 2010) – Governor Martin O’Malley today signed a bill into law to strengthen protection of children on Maryland waterways. Under the new law, effective immediately, any child under the age of 13 is required to wear a personal flotation device (PFD) while aboard a vessel that is underway. The law will also require children under the age of 16 to possess a certificate of boating safety education before they can operate a vessel unless they are supervised by an adult or someone 16 or older who has a boating safety certificate, effective Oct. 1.“As a State, nothing we do is more important than protecting the lives of our children,” said Governor O’Malley. “By raising the age at which a child is required to wear a life vest and improving boating safety education, this legislation will do just that.”
Formerly, any child under the age of seven had to wear a PFD on a recreational boat 21 feet or smaller, unless the boat is moored or anchored or the child is below deck in an enclosed cabin. “We firmly believe this new legislation will help us prevent boating fatalities,” said DNR Secretary John Griffin. “Even one boating-related death is unacceptable. We are doing everything we can to keep our boaters – and our children – safe.”The State averages 12 boating related fatalities a year. In 2009, Maryland had 17 boating related fatalities;16 of the victims were not wearing PFDs. “A life jacket is the single most important piece of safety equipment, but it doesn’t work unless you wear it,” said NRP Superintendent Colonel George Johnson. “This law will provide an added measure of safety for our children boating on Maryland waters. “
Raising the age requirement puts Maryland in line with federal regulations and 34 states, including Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Washington, DC. The federal regulations do not supersede the state, but the National Transportation Safety Board strongly encourages states to update their PFD requirements.

The legislation was supported by the U.S. Coast Guard, National Transportation Safety Board, Safe Kids USA, National Boating Federation, National Safe Boating Council, National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, and the Marine Retailers Association of America.Existing Maryland law requires that anyone born on or after July 1, 1972 must have a Certificate of Boating Safety Education in order to operate a mechanically propelled vessel on Maryland waters. NRP offers both in-person and on-line boating safety courses to receive that certificate.

Jodi Refosco receives 2010 Young Entrepreneur by the Garrett Chamber of Commerce

I was awarded the 2010 Young Entrepreneur Award (on behalf of Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations) by the Garrett Chamber of Commerce yesterday. The chamber held their annual chamber forum yesterday at the Will O’the Wisp to go over 2010 visions of the chamber. We went over marketing and tourism ideas, education, and economic development.

Savage River Lodge

If you have not been to Savage River Lodge for dinner – it should be on your list during your next visit to Deep Creek Lake. It is located close to Frostburg and about 35 minutes away from the heart of Deep Creek Lake. They serve exquisite dining options in a lodge setting with fabulous wine choices and fantastic ambiance – we love sitting out on the deck on a warm summer evening!

Recently the owners asked for us at Taylor-Made DCV to put in our properties books on their recently departed yellow lab, Bodhi. I have met Bodhi on a number of occasions and he is sort of a celebrity in the mountains here. He starred on his own calendar and now has his own book. I was happy to oblige and put these books in our homes, so our guests and home owners can enjoy Bodhi as much as the rest of the local community did.

One of my home owners just visited Savage River Lodge after reading the book at the home. He sent me pictures of his daughter holding one of the new golden retriever puppies at the lodge. Kokopelli and Karma are the two new lodge pups – so stop by and say “Hi” on your way up to the lake.