B. ZONE 7 (MM 145.6-180.9 ILR) IS IN THE RECOVERY PHASE FOR HIGH WATER CONDITIONS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ILR WAP ANNEX. ALL TOWING VESSELS ARE PROHIBITED FROM PUSHING INTO OR LAYING UP ON LEVEES AND ARE REQUESTED TO TRANSIT THIS ZONE WITH CAUTION AND AT THE SLOWEST SAFE SPEED TO MINIMIZE WAKE DAMAGE ESPECIALLY PEORIA (MM 165.5 - 178.0 ILR). ALL RECREATIONAL VESSEL TRAFFIC IS PROHIBITED FROM TRANSITING IN THIS ZONE.
btw, the day marker South of us is 179.0.
so where did this all come from? well, every time we flood, and there is a river closing, there's still those few boaters that insist on going out. so several of us have wondered this week, how that information gets out. i must say, for someone not versed in terminology, agencies, etc., i didn't find locating this info easy at all. i had ideas of where to start only because of nacho. but without that head start, i don't know that i would have had the patience to find it by myself - course that's my issue isn't it? and it is not safe to assume that just cuz you own a boat, you know boating - didn't the Hardin boys teach us anything?
so then i got to thinking, why don't they handle this like the beaches back home? you go to the beach and you know it's dangerous surf, and in some cases prohibited to go in the water, based on the flags displayed. well, actually, they do distribute the info. as Anita from IVY Club was so kind to discuss with me. she said that someone from the Coast Guard came and gave them a press release - most likely the full release that i pulled the above info from. she also said to keep their members informed, they make copies of the release and post it in various places at their club (bar, door ways, etc.) and spread it word of mouth. i asked if she finds most members heed the restrictions and she said "yes". of course i guess i could have asked her if they do anything to stop people from leaving port, but i didn't think of that and i guess you can't really stop someone from boating on a closed river. i do have a similar call into East Port Marina so i'll be interested to see what they have to say. and it's got me thinking about posting notices at our club. i like to think all our members are pretty versed, but you never know! of course, when the river's closed, the club is so flooded you couldn't get a boat in anyway, but it's not really fair to expect something from other clubs that we don't hold up ourselves. that's called a double standard people!
probably the biggest point is as someone living on the river, i've bought into a certain lifestyle and culture - ignorant or informed. and i've finally accepted that it's not really the fault of boaters for creating a wake when my place is flooded. blame the Coast Guard for not shutting down the river in some instances. but that's just your opinion an not necessarily reason enough to shut down the river. and, as nacho reminded me, a No Wake Zone is only150 feet from the signage (although i have yet to find the definitive word on that distance but i'll keep looking for that one). while the ultimate argument seems to be that most people lack common sense and courtesy, there's no test or sign for that. and after boating for about 10 years with nacho, i am starting to support the notion that you should have to take an exam and get a license to operate a boat. but as the Journal Star pointed out the other day:
- While the state requires education courses for persons 12 to 17 years of age, statistics show the majority of accidents actually involve older boaters who are not required to take any safety classes.