Save the Buoys Campaign – PAST CAMPAIGN
February 6th, 1998
Mr. R. Childerhose, Supervisor, Marine Aid Program, Canada Coast Guard:
This is probably a far different letter than you may have received from others, however, I am an interested member of the Boating Public with only what I believe to be the safety of all concerned. One loss of life, that could be prevented cannot be measured in dollars and, must outweigh any other concern!
Coming from the Construction Industry where safety comes ahead of every other concern (including profit) and knowing that we have never rescinded one safety policy. We have only added to these policies and improved them, so we can deliver the safest possible environment for our people. I hear the constant barrage of statements – that boat operators should have licenses; should be slowed down; should cut the congestion; should limit their horsepower; should have all safety equipment required under the law and, NOW, to hear that your concern is not as great for their safety and not give them every aid possible does not make sense to me.
Having operated an 80 foot pleasure yacht on the St. Clair River, Lake Huron, Georgian Bay, and the North Shore – east to west, I depended on the visual aids that were there. Yes we have all the equipment that you suggest should be used in place of the buoys, never once do I remember not identifying the visual navigational aids along the way for the safety of all aboard. Even though I had all the navigational equipment I feel it would have been fool hardy to have not taken this approach. Every boater from the 12 foot aluminum which has a very short range of view to the high speed boat that needs a quick view, buoy aids are necessary – each and every one.
Our government has spent millions of dollars on facilities intended to accommodate the boating public as well as the residents of the north that make their living from the Tourist Industry. Also, the north county has a very short time every year to attract these tourists to try to offset the costs, if only a small percentage are nervous to approach our water wonderland because they might have an accident from the unknown, then you in your actions have offset the balance. Our country needs these dollars.
There is a danger that we will have many more groundings in which the coast guard (your employees) will rush to their assistance. And rightly so. The additional cost thereof will far outweigh the savings that you will gain by not placing these buoys. I feel this could be a terrible expense. I suggest that you replace every one in the spring and that you double weight them as some may be moved by the ice. The following spring you have only to reposition those that may move and then we have not lost our safety factor and only your department knows where the buoy exactly belongs. This would not be a horrendous cost.
Please reconsider your proposal in the list of buoys that you feel necessary to remove, as we the public depend upon your accuracy, your help, your commitment, and your duty.
NCPS Supporter , Sarnia