Boaters need to exercise caution

Folks who made their way to the Grand Haven waterfront on July 4 experienced an awesome fireworks display.
Jul 26, 2013

Traffic heading out of town afterward was slow-going at best — and, for the most part, drivers acted in a rather orderly fashion.

Anyone who witnessed the show from the water, however, likely had a much different experience as they navigated their way from the downtown area. With hundreds of boats all rushing to get back to the boat launches, docks and marinas, it was a chaotic situation.

The channel is clearly marked as a no-wake zone. Common sense might lead one to believe that, when the channel is even more crowded after an event such as the fireworks, a little extra caution should be exercised.

Instead, boats of many different different sizes jockeyed for position, with many exceeding the no-wake zone, making an otherwise delightful evening become a very dangerous one.

On land, police officers position themselves in key locations to assure orderly traffic flow, and their presence helps keep the emotions of those with less patience intact.

We suggest the same strategy be implemented on the water. A couple of marine patrol or Coast Guard boats with lights flashing would have gone a long way to slow people down. That alone would have created a better and safer situation for all.

The water is a great place to spend summers, but we encourage boaters to operate their vessels in a safe and respectful manner. It creates a better experience for everyone.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.



Quote, A couple of marine patrol or Coast Guard boats with lights flashing would have gone a long way to slow people down.

Funny how your picture shows a Coast Guard boat and an Ottawa County Sheriffs boat in the background.........


Funny also how the fireworks are shot off in the DARK, and this article is about boat traffic AFTER the fireworks, so I guess that couldn't exactly be a pic of the actual time ghr.


Many DWB out there... be smart and careful on the water!

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