Is it still the LAW?

Discussion in 'Boats and Motors' started by 1roofmusky, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. Is it still the law that you cannot pass a boat that is showing a distress/audible signal without offering help? Thanks, Gabe
  2. Rob

    Rob Crappietracker

    Yes , in Ohio I'm pretty sure you have to help another boat UNLESS you would put your boat/passengers in danger. A good example of danger is a storm. Hope this helps.


  3. ezbite

    ezbite the Susan Lucci of OGF

    good question, im not sure theres any legal action that can be taken if you dont stop to help(unless your job obligates you to), but in this suit crazy society we live in you'll probably be sued if you stop or if you dont. i would like to have the answer.
  4. freyedknot

    freyedknot useless poster

    well you could help and just call a towboat???
  5. Not sure if there's an actual law on the books for watercraft or not. Fishers Of Men might know. Why do you ask?

    I have faith that any OGF'er seeing me waving my hands or displaying a distress signal would stop without hesitation. I'd do the same. Pretty sure most pleasure boaters would just wave back but that's another
  6. freyedknot

    freyedknot useless poster

    there may be a law in life threatening situations ,when you could have safely helped out and not put yourself in danger. calling the coast guard and waiting for them to arrive would most likely suffice.
  7. krustydawg

    krustydawg KrustyDawg

    It's MAN LAW...:p I pulled in 3 boats and a jet ski this past season. Bad karma awaits those who don't assist.;)
  8. Would you have protection under the "Good Samaritan" laws?

    I tow anyone who needs help and asks.

  9. Workdog

    Workdog "One More Time"

    This question came up once when I was down in Virginia fishing the Chesapeake Bay. They had a good samaritan law, but this is probably not consistently viewed across all the states. It was highly recommended though that if you tow someone, use the OTHER guy's rope.
  10. I will say this much. Back in the early 90's my motor died about 5 mi off Cleveland. I called cleveland marine they told me to put life jackets on and
    fly my distress flag. Needless to say not one boat stopped to offer assistance. At least stop and offer assistance even if they have called for a tow. I believe a lot of people do not even know what a distress flag looks like.
  11. Years ago I was down at Salt Fork.... towed a guy off the lake only to have my crank snap on my way back across the speed zone. After about 20 minutes or so of running the trolling motor and boats passing me non-stop, someone finally offered me a tow. Mind you I didn't have a flag waving or anything.... would rather get myself back to the ramp if possible but I don't know how karma worked in my favor that day!!!
  12. x2

    Regardless of whether its the law or not or if its an OGF'er or not, help out.
    The world would be a much better place if everyone was willing to help others when they need it.
  13. Imagine what would have broke if you would not have stopped to help the distressed boater. Maybe the motor would have blown up.

    A similar situation but on land, I was in a snow plow truck during the ice storm a few years back and I pulled over to help a distressed minivan. I ended up getting my truck stuck in a ditch when pulling over to help the lady. Come to find out, a rescue truck collided with a Wall mart semi at the intersection about 400 yards from where I got stuck. If I would have not pulled over and got stuck, I would have been rolling through that intersection about the exact time of the collision...I think I would have lost amongst those two giant trucks!
  14. :C I ask because I had a bad experience at Pymatuning a few years back. My buddy and I were out in the middle off tuttle point when the power pack died on his 9.9. We tried to limp back to the ramp on a 28lb thrust motor with a dead battery. It was very windy also and in the opposite direction that we were headed. Soon the electric motor was doing nothing! We managed to at least get back to land where we began to walk the boat in muddy, chest deep water several miles before anyone stopped. At least 30 boats traveled past us and ignored our yells for a tow. Finally a nice couple in a brand new pontoon boat pulled us aboard and towed our boat back to the ramp. I was actually surprised that they were willing to come so close to shore to help. We could not believe that we had to wait 2 hrs in the water for a tow! Many people saw us and no one helped! I was never looking to persue legal action against the passers by, but I think there might be a lot of bad boat karma floatin' around that lake. Thanks for the input guys! -Gabe:C
  15. thats disappointing to hear, I would hope more people would be willing to help.
  16. I make a point to help anytime I see a flag, see someone waving or here someone yell. I don't understand why anyone would not try to aide in some way.

    One day at Ceasars Creek, I even towed in the "Queen Mary". I believe this is the largest boat I have ever seen on an inland lake. I have a 17' boat with a 40 hp motor. The people just asked me to notify the water patrol so they could get a tow. I just couldn't leave that family on that wind blown shore.

    Over the years I've towed in quite a few boats, people have offered to pay me for the help. I do tell them I do have a "fee" but it's not money. I just ask them to remember how they felt stranded there and to stop the next time they see someone who needs help. It's a lonely feeling. Pass it on.
  17. katfish

    katfish Cats are where it's at!

    Whenever I spot boaters in trouble I do whatever I can to assist them.

    I tied onto a jet ski this year just as it sunk and towed it ashore before it went under. Most of you know I hate jet skis but I felt compelled to help the young man and the situation developed into a potentially life threatening situation.

    Don and I were headed across a lake to beat an approaching thunderstorm.
    Don spotted a Bayliner smoking and drifting so we went to them. They had lost cooling and blown the heads on the motor but not on fire. We got them towed to the dock just as the rain started. They were safe and dry but we had to cross the lake to get home.

    Now here is how I see this.
    My laws supercede man laws. I am in command of my safety and that of my family even if it contradicts State, Federal, or International law.

    No matter what law says I have to live with the what I have done.
    I help others out without thought to legal actions. I know how I would feel if I left someone stranded and they got injured or killed. I know that some day I may need help and I hope there is someone around willing to lend a hand.

    Some may think me naive or stupid but we all live where the sacrifices of some gave hope to us all. Most instances it only takes a little time and often boats have help on the way (via cell phone) but I always check on boaters than seem to be in trouble.

    Think of it like this. Would you simply drive by the scene of an auto accident?
  18. “We are all in the same boat in a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty.”

    -G.K. Chesterton
  19. AND help was always there when I needed it. I never took a dime from anybody, I just ask them to help when they see somebody in need too.
  20. I'm pretty sure you're only obligated to "help'. After a few instances of having to tow in drunk people, people who have no fuel gauge, and just plain a-holes. I use discression now. The drunks? You just pull up and offer to call the coast guard, and you'll see how fast they insist they don't really need help. LOL Fuel gauge dude? He just gets a tow to the nearest ramp or dock, usually not to the best of his liking. The a-hole? He gets charged for a tow or a free coast guard call. LOL

    I did save one dudes butt before. He was taking on water like mad from srtiking a buoy. He didn't want to leave his boat, so I ran down the tow boat that I passed miles back. Ripped down the Detroit River @ 60MPH, blowing every no-wake zone and got the tow boat back to him just as he was up to the rails. My good deed for the year. :)