Letter to the Editor for the week of July 18, 2019

Dear Editor,

I have a sail boat in the fingers of Port Isabel; I sail out to the Gulf of Mexico through the Queen Isabela Channel often. There is a congested section of the way that is not a marked channel it takes you from the Causeway Intercostal Bridge to the Coast Guard station. This has a power line running through it along the old abandoned causeway. There is usually lots of traffic and always lots of shallow areas to go around if you are not careful. This open section is also the region the parasailers choose to operate. Most of them are fine but I have had continual dangerous encounters with one green boat.

One would think there would be specific right of way laws for parasailers; there are rules for powerboats, sailboats, working fishing vessels and vessels constringed by draft in a channel. For parasailers there are none; they are treated like a power boat and that is stupid! There are people in the air that could die if the wind stops and changes direction suddenly. They need to have some special right of way. It is just common sense. I have learned to just try to get out of the way even though I have the right of way.

This last Tuesday I had a familiar green para sail boat on the water, it likes to fly the parasailer over other boats including my sail boat, not a bright or safer thing to do! I watched him like a hawk. He launched his parasail or on the upwind side of the bay next to the power lines and proceeded to go a collision course with me. As he got close, he turned down and passed me on the port side. That as a relieve, I watched him let the parasailers almost drop in the water then he accelerated up and did a circle around my boat. His boat was 300 feet to my right and the parasailers passed over me 200 feet to my left. Perhaps the stupidest thing I have seen anyone do with a boat. I called him on the marine radio, no response then I called the Coast Guard and they briefly stopped him.

I filed a report by phone and hope something will be done. I have gotten no returned call asking for clarification so I guess it will just be dropped. I have been stopped by Coast Guard before and inspected. There was a great amount of effort to make sure I had placards about oil discharge and toilet discharge. Those men in service do a great job rescuing boaters and policing our water ways, so I don’t understand why nothing is done about parasailing rules of the road and rogue parasailer drivers who endanger people lives. It is time to wake up and fix this before someone is killed.

David Warmke

Port Isabel

Permanent link to this article: https://www.portisabelsouthpadre.com/2019/07/18/letter-to-the-editor-for-the-week-of-july-18-2019/

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