September 23, 2003
commission clarifies fire extinguisher
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has taken action to clarify existing
regulations on the types of watercraft required to carry approved fire
extinguishers on board. The amended regulation stops short of requiring all
motorboats to carry extinguishers. Instead it closely follows federal
regulations on fire extinguishers for motorboats and clarifies
specific instances where motorboats are
required to have such devices.
new regulation was adopted during the PFBC's fall quarterly meeting
September 21-22 in Harrisburg.
PFBC regulations have long required a fire extinguisher in all gasoline-powered boats that have the probability for entrapping gasoline vapors in closed compartments. However, the regulation raised questions about its applicability in particular situations. Looking to address this grey area, the Commission sought public comment on an amendment to require fire extinguishers on all boats with internal combustion motors.
broad requirement for extinguishers on all gas-powered motorboats had the
advantage of setting forth a clear, unambiguous line for requiring fire
extinguishers. However, the proposal also had the disadvantage of requiring
fire extinguishers on boats where they may not be necessary from a safety
viewpoint," said Deputy Executive Director Dennis T. Guise. "The
Commissioners decided they did not want to place a undue burden on many
public comment and exploring other regulatory alternatives, the Commission
concluded such a broad provision was unnecessarily restrictive.
motorboats shall carry at least the minimum number of Coast Guard approved
hand portable fire extinguishers required for their class as specified in
Appendix A, except that motorboats less than 26 feet in length, propelled by
outboard motors and not carrying passengers for hire, need not carry fire
extinguishers if the construction of such motorboats will not permit the
entrapment of explosive or flammable gases or vapors. Fire extinguishers
shall be carried on motorboats that meet one or more of the following
conditions. The motorboats have:
closed compartments under thwarts and seats where portable fuel tanks
may be stored;
(2) double bottoms not sealed to the hulls or which are not completely filled with flotation material;
(3) closed living spaces;
stowage compartments in which combustible or flammable materials are stowed;
(5) permanently installed fuel tanks; or
(6) are carrying
passengers for hire.
The following conditions do not, in and of themselves, require that fire extinguishers be carried: (1) bait wells, (2) glove compartments, (3) buoyant flotation material, (4) open slatted flooring, and (5) ice chests
In other action, the Commission tabled consideration of a proposal to solicit public comment on raising the minimum age of operation for personal watercraft (such as jet skisŪ and the like) from 12 to 16. Under current regulations, all operators of personal watercraft must possess a boating safety education certificate.
The Commission also:
removed miscellaneous special trout fishing regulations for Duck Harbor
Pond, Wayne County. Duck Harbor Pond will now be considered approved trout
waters open to year-round fishing. Trout may be harvested during the regular
and extended trout seasons in accordance with statewide regulations.
designated Raccoon State Park Upper Pond, Beaver County, as a no-kill zone.
adopted a 2 fish creel and 28-inch minimum length limit for striped bass
from the Delaware Rive taken during the harvest season.
approved minor technical amendments to an administrative regulation on the
release of documents and records and a regulation pertaining to permits to
draw off impounded waters.
deferred a final vote on the banning of a practice known as "teak surfing."
· proposed regulations that would allow an angler while ice fishing to fish with a maximum of five fishing devices that may consist of hand lines, tip ups or fishing rods or any combination thereof.
proposed creating regulations needed for the potential future issuance of
online boat registration renewals.
moved to seek public comment on limiting boats to slow, minimum height swell
speed in the main channel of the Lehigh River, Northampton County in an
areas 150 feet upstream and 150 feet downstream from the Route 33 access
proposed a clarification to the regulations outlining the definition of
persons with disabilities at fishing at Lake Scranton, Lackawanna County.
moved to seek public comment on a proposed change to filleting rules for
officially licensed fish cleaning stations.
· established the dates for the 2004 Commission meetings as January 26-27, April 19-20, July 26-27, and October 4-5.
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