UPDATE: I shot the sheriff, but I didn't shoot the deputy. According to Team Seacats, it was the bridge keeper who did the ugly deed by lowering the bridge before the ship passed. I apologize to all the fury animals in the audience for jumping to conclusions. Thank you and good night. Make that a triple barkeep!
In a rather bizarre ruling that has marine
industry officials worried, Judge Robert G. James of the United States
District Court, Western Division of Louisiana, has said that it is
criminal trespass for the American boating public to boat, fish, or
hunt on the Mississippi River and other navigable waters in the US.
In the case of Normal Parm v. Sheriff Mark Shumate, James ruled that
federal law grants exclusive and private control over the waters of the
river, outside the main shipping channel, to riparian landowners. The
shallows of the navigable waters are no longer open to the public.
That, in effect, makes boating illegal across most of the country.
"Even though this action seems like a horrible pre-April fools joke,
it is very serious," said Phil Keeter, MRAA president, in a statement.
"Because essentially all the waters and waterways of our country are
considered navigable in the US law, this ruling declares recreational
boating, water skiing, fishing, waterfowl hunting, and fishing
tournaments to be illegal and the public subject to jail sentences for
recreating with their families."
Last month, James rejected the findings of the Magistrate judge who
found earlier that the American public had the right under federal law
and Louisiana law to navigate, boat, fish, and hunt on the waters of
the Mississippi river up to the normal high water line of the river.
Judge James Kirk relied on the long established federal principles of
navigation that recognized the public navigational rights "…entitles
the public to the reasonable use of navigable waters for all legitimate
purposes of travel or transportation, for boating, sailing for
pleasure, as well as for carrying persons or property for hire, and in
any kind of watercraft the use of which is consistent with others also
enjoying the right possessed in common."
"MRAA is working with the Coast Guard, state boating law
administrators, and NMMA to fight this onerous ruling," said Glen
Mazzella, MRAA chairman, in the statement.
73 intrepid surfistas broke the Guinness World record for the most surfers to catch and ride the same wave. They caught and then rode a single wave for longer than five seconds at Muizenberg, South Africa in September of this year. Of course I'm way behind the curve on this story. I found it by accident on 20 Minutos. (a day late, a dollar short......got to cut back on the tequila, it clouds the brain.)