SECTION .0300 ‑ LOCAL WATER SAFETY REGULATIONS

 

15A NCAC 10F .0301       GENERAL PROVISIONS

(a)  Applicability.  Except as limited by the subject matter, all of the provisions of this Rule apply to all public waters located within the territorial limits of the counties and municipalities in which special regulations are set forth for specific waters or regulated areas by the succeeding rules.

(b)  Definitions.  Unless the context requires otherwise, the definitions used in G.S.75A apply within these regulations.  In addition, the following definitions apply in these regulations:

(1)           Commission.  North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission;

(2)           Executive Director.  Executive Director of the Commission;

(3)           No‑Wake Speed.  Idle speed or a slow speed creating no appreciable wake;

(4)           Uniform System.  Uniform Waterway Marking System and the supplementary standards for such system promulgated by the Commission.

(c)  Marking of Regulated Areas.  The Executive Director may designate agencies for placement and maintenance of markers for regulated areas established by rules promulgated pursuant to this Section.  The agency designated by the Executive Director may delegate the actual placement and maintenance of such markers to some other agency, corporation, group or individual, so long as the designating agency exercises supervisory authority over such agency, corporation, group or individual.  Prior to marking a restricted zone established pursuant to G.S. 75A‑15, the designated agency for placement and maintenance of the markers must obtain written approval from the Executive Director by making a written request for permission to mark the area specifically described therein.  Enforcement of the restrictions set forth in Rule .0302 et seq. of this Section is dependent upon placement and maintenance of adequate marking of the regulated areas by suitable agencies, as designated in those rules, in accordance with the requirements of the Uniform Waterway Marking System, which are hereby incorporated by reference, and automatically include any later amendments of the incorporated matter as authorized by G.S. 150B‑21.6 and the supplementary standards for such system promulgated by the Commission in Paragraph (g) of this Rule.  Unless a specific variance is granted, placement and maintenance of the markers must be and remain in accordance with the uniform system.  The Executive Director or his representative is instructed to supervise and approve placement and maintenance of individual markers to insure full implementation of the objectives of the uniform system.

(d)  Implementation of Uniform Waterway Marking System.  Except where done by virtue of the supervening federal authority, it is unlawful for anyone to place, maintain, or to allow to remain in place, any regulatory markers or navigational aids of the sort included in the uniform system in any waters without authorization of the Commission.  The Executive Director is authorized to approve placement of the navigational aids, informational markers, and regulatory markers warning of dangers and not requiring enforcement sanctions, in accordance with both public interest in recreational use and water safety and in accordance with the policies embodied in the uniform system.

(e)  Removal of Unauthorized Markers.  Markers or navigational aids which do not conform to the specifications of the uniform system or which are placed without lawful authority or permission, where the person responsible for the actual placement cannot be feasibly determined, may be removed by agents of the Commission.  Nonconforming markers as to which the person responsible for placement and maintenance is known, may nevertheless be removed by agents of the Commission if such markers are likely to mislead the public or cause a dangerous situation. Where agents of the Commission discover authorized markers which have been improperly placed or are defective through lack of maintenance, such agents may serve written notice upon the person responsible for such improper placement or for the maintenance of the marker concerned.  If, within 10 days no action has been taken in accordance with the notice given, such default constitutes a violation of these regulations.

(f)  Miscellaneous Restrictions.  Except for mooring buoys or markers as to which it is specifically permitted, it is unlawful to tie a vessel to any waterway marker.  It is unlawful for any unauthorized person to move, remove, damage, obstruct, paint over, or in any way tamper with any marker lawfully placed in the waters of North Carolina in conformity with these regulations or the uniform system generally.

(g)  Supplementary Standards.  The standards listed in this Paragraph are supplementary to the Uniform Waterway Marking System and shall be applicable in the succeeding rules of this Section to the areas of water thereby regulated:

(1)           The perimeter of swimming areas in the water must be marked with float lines which, in conjunction with the shoreline, form a completely enclosed area.  The total enclosed area may not exceed 5,000 square feet.  Such area may not extend out into the water sufficiently as to restrict travel unduly on any regular navigational channel or otherwise to obstruct passage of vessels in reasonably using the waters.

(2)           Float lines must have attached floats along their length at intervals of not less than one every 10 feet.

(3)           Floats must be buoyant enough to float at the surface of the water while attached to the float line, but no float may exceed a size of 18 inches as measured across its largest dimension.

(4)           Floats may be solid or hollow and preferably should be of plastic or other light and resilient material not likely to cause injury should one strike a swimmer in the water.

(5)           Floats must be either solid white or solid international orange in color.  Float lines may consist of all white floats or of alternating white and orange floats.

(6)           Buoys or floating signs indicating the "boats‑keep‑out" symbol of the uniform system and in conformity with its standards must be attached to the float lines at such points as necessary to give warning to the vessels approaching the swimming area from various directions.

(7)           Float lines and warning markers must be anchored securely to prevent them from shifting position to any appreciable extent under normal conditions.

(8)           All markers warning of a no‑wake speed zone around certain facilities must be buoys or floating signs placed in the water at a distance of not greater than 50 yards from the protected facility.  The markers must be sufficient in number and size as to give adequate warning of the restriction to the vessels approaching from various directions.

(9)           The boundaries of mooring areas may be defined by the placement of the speed zone warning markers themselves or by such warning markers plus additional boundary floats or markers that may be approved by the Executive Director or his representative.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 75A‑3; 75A‑15;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. November 1, 1993; March 25, 1978;

Temporary Amendment Eff. July 1, 1998;

Amended Eff. April 1, 1999.