From Larry Cain:
Tip of the week: get to know your local Marine Police. We see these guys out on the water every day. They know us and we know them. They know we’ve always got our safety gear, are all competent paddlers, usually paddle in a group and always make responsible decisions based on safety first. This has resulted in a high level of trust so when they see us out there in big water or in the winter they don’t freak out but instead wave hello or come by to share a laugh (while I’m sure making sure we’re okay). We’ve all got jobs to do and this level of respect and cooperation makes everyone’s job easier and the day more enjoyable.
At the Mullet, we’ve had a lot of success where we live also because of our respectful relationship with Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue, our wildlife services (like many local marine patrols) and our local Coast Guard. When you have a positive relationship with your local authorities, it makes most situations easier to deal with. You respect the laws, collaborate on how to police your own paddle communities by following local laws like having PFDs.
An adversarial relationship on the other hand causes everyone headaches. Remember, someone you know know someone on the Marine Patrol. If you are having issues, see if you can have a quick and productive sit down to talk about the issues and see where and how you can help. These are the people who are out there to keep you safe.