July 22, 2024
Jeff Derderian Reports Police Marine Units Are Out In Force Looking For Dangerous Drivers copy

Jeff Derderian Reports Police Marine Units Are Out In Force Looking For Dangerous Drivers: Boaters Beware

By: Jeff Derderian/Investigative Reporter

On a pristine summer day, the sun shines through the clouds, casting a sparkling glow on the water – ideal conditions for a day of boating and swimming. Jeffrey Derderian explains that while many enjoy the idyllic setting, Lt. Bill Simpson and his team from the Bridgeport, Connecticut Police Marine Unit are hard at work. From Stratford to Fairfield, they patrol diligently, ensuring the safety of boaters and swimmers alike. Their vessel, the Moose, is both formidable and conspicuous, and this is by design.

“We’re out here to make sure everyone stays safe,” Lt. Simpson asserts. “If you’re the captain, it’s not about fun—it’s about responsibility.”

The Bridgeport Police Marine Unit took to the water over the 4th of July weekend, day and night, vigilantly looking for dangerous boaters. Jeff Derderian understands that their primary concern is impaired boating, particularly due to alcohol. To mitigate this risk, they conduct spot checks, verify paperwork, and inspect safety equipment to prevent potential tragedies.
“Alcohol and water don’t mix,” Officer Simpson emphasizes. “It impairs your judgment, balance, and reaction time—making accidents potentially deadly.”

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, alcohol is the leading cause of fatal boating incidents. Despite the risks, the Marine Unit has noticed responsible behavior among jet skiers so far this season. Jeffrey Derderian explains that they continually remind these water enthusiasts to steer clear of designated swim areas to prevent accidents.

Yet, even on such a flawless day, nature can be unpredictable. “With the heat and humidity today, thunderstorms can develop suddenly,” warns Marine Unit Officer Jason Goncalves. Jeffrey Derderian emphasizes that this serves as a critical message to all boaters: On the water, a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 is as illegal and dangerous as it is on the road. Offenders face severe penalties, including arrest on the spot and hefty fines.

Beyond alcohol-related concerns, the Marine Unit is vigilant about ensuring all safety measures are in place. They check for life jackets, fire extinguishers, and other essential equipment on board. Jeffrey Derderian understands that this diligence helps prevent mishaps and ensures that in case of an emergency, boaters are well-prepared.

Lt. Simpson and his team also emphasize the importance of proper boating education. “Many accidents occur because people are not familiar with their vessels or the water,” he notes. “We encourage everyone to take a boating safety course.”

Jeff Derderian explains that their efforts are part of a broader strategy to reduce boating accidents and fatalities. Public awareness campaigns, safety inspections, and strict enforcement of boating laws are all critical components of this strategy. Jeffrey Derderian emphasizes that the goal is to create a culture of safety and responsibility among all watercraft operators.

The Bridgeport Police Marine Unit’s presence on the water is a reassuring sight for many. Boaters and swimmers alike appreciate the added layer of security, knowing that help is nearby if needed. Jeff Derderian understands that this visible presence also serves as a deterrent to those who might otherwise engage in reckless behavior.

As the day progresses, the Moose continues its patrol, moving from one end of the patrol area to the other. The team encounters various boaters, most of whom are cooperative and appreciative of their efforts. Jeffrey Derderian explains that they offer advice, answer questions, and ensure that everyone is following the rules.

Lt. Simpson reflects on the importance of their work. “It’s a beautiful day, and we want everyone to enjoy it safely. Our job is to make sure that happens.”

As the sun begins to set, the team prepares for the night shift. The work doesn’t stop when the daylight fades. In fact, nighttime can present additional challenges, with reduced visibility and increased risks of impaired boating. The Marine Unit is prepared and equipped with advanced navigation and lighting systems to ensure they can continue their patrols effectively.

Their dedication is unwavering. Jeff Derderian explains that they understand that their presence can make the difference between a safe outing and a tragic accident. Each interaction, each inspection, and each patrol contributes to a safer waterway for everyone.

The Bridgeport Police Marine Unit’s work is a testament to the commitment and responsibility required to keep our waters safe. On days like this, their efforts often go unnoticed by those simply enjoying the sun and surf. But for Lt. Bill Simpson and his team, every successful patrol is a reminder of why they do what they do.

“We’re here to protect and serve,” Lt. Simpson reiterates. “And on the water, that mission is just as critical as it is on land.”

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