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2023 Survey: Emergency Services and Safety

March 01, 2024 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

By Rick Hoyle, Maureen Daniels, and Jean McCormick - March 2024

This article focuses on the responses LACA received to the questions from the Emergency Services and Safety (ES&S) committee.  These questions elicited members’ opinions and concerns regarding safety on the lake and a LACA emergency response initiative. 

On the topic of safety, a strong majority (92% of question respondents) believe LACA should continue to support 100/200-foot setbacks for towed water sports.  These setbacks are the distance boats towing skiers, tubers, wake boarders (100 feet), and wake surfers (200 feet) should stay away from other boats, people, docks, and shorelines. 

In addition, 87% of question respondents felt that wake surfing should be restricted to sections of the lake that are at least 900 feet wide. Similarly, 83% of question respondents supported additional no wake surfing zones on Lake Anna.  Waves from powered water vessels had adverse effects on 73% of those responding to the question.  The following table breaks down these impacts.

Adverse Impact

Percent of Survey Respondents

I have experienced an increase in property erosion.


I have experienced property damage to either my dock, seawall or rip rap.


I have been swamped or overturned or knocked off my boat/jet ski


I or a passenger on my boat has been knocked down trying to ski or wakeboard, or thrown off a tube


I have experienced damage to my boat


I have, or someone I know, has sustained an injury





Of those reporting adverse impacts, the types of vessels creating the waves are reported in the following table.

Jet Ski or Personal Watercraft


Boat pulling tube(s)


Boat pulling a skier


Boat pulling a wakeboarder


Boat pulling a wake surfer


Boat pulling other towed sport


Boat not towing


These results and new studies on the large and forceful waves and bottom sediment disturbance caused by wake surfing is leading LACA leadership to recommend wake surfing much further from shore and in deeper waters than LACA’s current recommendation.

The ES&S committee created the 911 Location Marker (Yellow Dock Sign) Initiative in 2012 to reduce response time to emergencies on Lake Anna.  Several questions from this committee were intended to find additional members willing to add 911 Location Markers to either their dock or to Home Owner Association/Property Owner Association (HOA/POA) docks. 

These questions found that 35% of the survey respondents had the markers on their own docks, 35 respondents purchased markers for their dock by clicking on a link like this one Order a 911 Sign in the survey, and 36 asked to be contacted about purchasing a marker.  LACA also found that 28% of our survey respondents lived in HOAs/POAs with 911 Location Markers on their community dock, and 21 respondents indicated they would like to be contacted for help in acquiring a marker for their community dock.  The ES&S committee leadership has contacted these members to assist them. 

The committee also asked if LACA should work with Dominion Energy and/or local governments to require a 911 emergency location marker on all new dock construction or additions/renovations of existing docks.  Three quarters of respondents to this question supported this initiative.  The committee also received 162 additional recommendations from respondents on other safety measures LACA should consider helping make Lake Anna the safest place possible for all its users. 

These comments have been compiled and categorized:  increasing law enforcement, ensuring safe boating orientation for rented boat and jetski operators, adding hazard, no-wake or no wake surfing buoys, limiting the size, power, types or quantity of boats on the lake, having local emergency medical facilities, and banning wake surfing are concerns expressed by members.

The ES&S committee leads have created an Action Plan with due dates in reaction to the responses received for the questions cited above.  These actions await the approval of the LACA Board even though several of these actions have already been implemented.

Further actions may be recommended by the Board and approved actions will be monitored for progress at LACA monthly meetings. You can expect to see responses soon if not already because of the survey responses.  Again, membership feedback is extremely valuable, and we are driven to implement your suggestions! Thanks again to those who completed our survey!

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