Monday, September 21, 2015

"The Masthead" Issue # 6 2-11-08 Harbor Patrol and Deputy James Davis

Welcome back to the last part of our three part series interviewing Deputy James Davis.

Q. What are some of your different patrol techniques for night and day?
A. Well let’s start with the evening shifts, the areas we patrol at night are no different than during the day. We still patrol off the coast and inside the harbor, but we may concentrate our efforts around those areas that are more heavily trafficked such as the Rhine Cannel and the Turning Basin looking for something out of the ordinary. We frequently check in with security guards, live-aboards, and transient boaters to see if everything is OK . Again these people are our eyes and ears. In the mooring areas we are also looking for anything that is not lit up, again we are looking for anything out of the ordinary, small wakes etc. In the Back Bay we are always looking for wildlife that might be injured, people that have gone aground that don’t have a radio or anyone in need of assistance. In the Federal Channel we have the large charter boats and we are frequently in communication with the skippers to ensure there are no problems. We also spend a lot of time looking off the water; we are looking at the homes and businesses and constantly trying to be aware of fire hazards. During shift change we communicate with the oncoming shift and advise the deputies of what has occurred during the prior shift. Like any good ocean racing team there is lots of information to share between watches.

Q. What’s the best way to keep sea lions off your boats or dock?
A. What I am finding out is a strong physical barrier works well. The key is to stop it before it starts, so don’t wait until the sea lions find your boat or dock take preventative action if you notice sea lions in your area.

Q. What is the best way for the boater to approach a public dock with a number of fishermen on the dock?
A. We have had problems with this issue recently.. In response to the problem the Harbor Patrol in cooperation with the California Department of Fish and Game developed a Task Force to address this issue and it seems to be working. Our suggestion is for a boater to pull up a short distance from the dock and ask the fisherman to make room and give them time to bring their lines in. If this does not work give us a call and we will come by and help you out.

Q. What call would you fear to hear?
A. An airplane down from John Wayne airport. We have trained for this scenario and I would prefer never to use this training.

Q. Where do you see yourself in the next ten years?
A. Within the next three years I will be retiring from fulltime work, but I plan on continuing part time. This is how the department keeps the continuity though out the years.

What I will continue to do, if they let me back on their dock, is to report back monthly with Sergeant McCormick for any local notice to mariners and to keep everyone informed.

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