7/8/2014 5:58:00 AM Boat ramp situation shows improvement
DON MARTIN/For the Miner
This is the new look at the South Cove ramp on Lake Mead. Even though launching is still limited to one boat at a time, this dock position is much better than it was.
Don Martin Outdoors Writer
KINGMAN - The Lake Mead National Recreational Area apparently heard the plea that we've been making regarding the needs at the launching facilities at South Cove.
Crews from the LMNRA have been making some improvements. The first thing that is obvious is that the dock was moved over to allow boaters and anglers to use the pipe rail mat to launch from.
They also installed barricades to prevent boaters from having their trailers fall off the right edge of the mat, which had previously caused a lot of damage for the unsuspecting.
Plus, they moved the parking area a lot closer to the water, which will be a huge help to the disabled and handicapped users given the high temperatures that are at the lake right now.
While these improvements are appreciated, more needs to be done.
The parking area still needs to be striped, and despite the LMNRA's position that they are not going to put up a solar light on the dock, I hope that input from the public and elected officials will persuade them to reconsider that decision.
Launching and retrieving boats at night poses some serious problems and injuries are always possible to those stepping on or off boats at the dock.
One would think that the fees generated from users in this area would more than pay for this improvement.
It is obvious that the red navigation buoy should be moved closer to the South Cove dock.
Currently, it is almost a half-mile away, and boaters whose watercraft aren't equipped with onboard navigation equipment find it difficult to find the dock location.
There are now several long peninsulas to the south of the dock area, and having the lighted navigation buoy closer to the bay where the dock is would facilitate safer docking at night.
In the meantime, the lake level continues to drop and new hazards are showing up all the time.
It is the responsibility of the LMNRA to let the boating public know about these hazards and to mark them appropriately.
Boating by its very nature is hazardous. Many operators of pleasure craft go out only two or three times a year, and changing water levels create many new challenges.
Extra caution should be taken when operating watercraft - especially at night - on Lake Mead.
Remember the slogan, "Safe Boating is No Accident!"