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Boaters in the way of fire crew

I want to add my two cents regarding boaters that get in the way of firefighting aircraft.

I find it amazing that there are no regulations in place that address the issue keeping boaters away from firefighting aircraft.

There is no way on Earth that a helicopter pilot should have to 'cherry pick' and dodge recreational boaters while risking their life fighting a fire.

There are strict Federal Regulations for instance in place to keep boaters at a distance from whales.

When there is a fire being fought and a lake being used to contain the fire boaters should not be allowed within at least a kilometre or more of where aircraft pickup water. This is just an example.

Maybe even shutting wide sections of Okanagan Lake down (some local legislation maybe?) would be helpful. I know if I was a chopper pilot there is no way I would want a boater anywhere near where I have to hover to pick up water - it's just way too stressful.

I (and I'm sure many others) do not feel that a pilot should have to waste time dodging pleasure boaters while risking their lives fighting a fire.

~Gary Weighill



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