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Boaters warned about power lines


OCEAN CITY -- Delmarva Power, the Coast Guard, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and city officials joined forces this week to remind boaters to watch out for power lines.

"All we're trying to do is get people look up," said Pat Duffy, Delmarva Power safety manager. "Sailboats and power boats contain accessories that post a potential danger around overhead power lines. Masts, spars, outriggers and antennaes that extend into the air, or are raised into the air, can contact power lines and can cause serious injury."

Mr. Duffy and others spoke at a news conference Tuesday morning held at the Ocean City Fishing Center in Shantytown. Delmarva Power has made up T-shirts, brochures and stickers to remind boaters to watch for power lines.

"Often these announcements are taken lightly by the public," said Clay Stamp, director of communications for Ocean City. "That concerns me. If people would take them seriously, we wouldn't be so busy with police cars, firetrucks and ambulances."

Here are some tips from Delmarva Power's brochure:

* Avoid contact with overhead electrical wires by checking the clearance before raising or lowering your mast or spar.

* Consider tides when determining clearances. Low-tide clearances may be inadequate at high tide.

* Keep all drying sails and sheet lines from blowing into power lines.

* Remove or lower antennaes or flags from large cruise vessels and sailboat hulls before transporting your boat over land.

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