Deputy Kevin Webster.(Courtesy OC Sheriff's Department)
By Len Bose:
I would like to introduce everyone to our new mooring administrator, Deputy Kevin Webster of the Orange County Sheriff's Harbor Department.
Webster is not new to the county or the department.
"I am an Orange County kid, born and raised," he said.
He has 16 years on the job, six of them with the Newport Beach Harbor Department. He's a married father of a 19-year-old son and an 11-year-old daughter.
I met Webster when he and our outgoing mooring administrator, Sean Scoles, were out doing introductions around the harbor.
The mooring administrator is responsible for the alignment of the moorings, permit holders' maintenance records, fees and insurance requirements. These tasks include mooring extensions and harbor permit requests. They also monitor the anchorages and guest slips and receive and respond to accident reports.
Fortunately, the Harbor Department has Sally Cooper to help with administrative work the department and the city require to manage the moorings. Cooper provides the continuity within the harbor department's mooring administration during every personnel change.
Other tasks Webster is assigned to monitor are the city's Vessel Turn In Program (VTIP) and Abandoned Water Craft state grants. Over the last two years, these programs have removed 30 boats from our harbor. There is quite a bit of time needed to manage these programs and to obtain these state grants.
"As long as the state provides the grants, we will continue the program," Webster said.
This always leads me into asking — what is a derelict boat?
"There are a whole lot of interpretations of what a derelict boat is," Webster explained. "The boat has to be operable and in seaworthy condition. A derelict will have excessive debris that will be concern of a fire hazard.
"It is a vessel that is uncared for, unsafe and poorly maintained. Other visible signs are excessive bird droppings, broken windows or extreme marine growth attached to the hull of the vessel. Those are all signs of poorly maintained vessels and I would define as derelict."
We discussed other important topics. Mooring permit holders are not required to keep a vessel on their moorings. People can rent a mooring for $27 a night and can request a mooring's location anywhere in the harbor. Two or more boats tied together are considered a raft-up and require a permit that can be found on the city or harbor department websites.
Accidents that require more than $500 in repair must be reported to the Harbor Department. Should you spill fuel, someone get injured, swamped, sinking or run aground, you are required to contact the Harbor Department. And you should not leave the seen of the accident.
Over the last eight years we have been fortunate to have deputies assigned to our Harbor Department. From what I have seen from Webster, while on patrol and when attending Harbor Commission meetings, he is one of the good ones. He is easily approachable. He listens to your concerns. And while talking to him, one feels that he really cares.
My gut tells me he will move up the department ranks rather quickly. We are fortunate to have him on our team.
Boat name of the week: "Wish you were here"
LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist for the Daily Pilot.