This week you’ll learn how not to extricate an invasive critter
from your home and about a new Coast Guard regulation that proves
Americans are getting fatter.
Let Us Spray
There’s a squirrel loose inside your house. Do you:
A. Call a professional nuisance animal trapper?
B. Open all the doors and windows and try to chase it back
C. Use pepper spray?
If you chose option A or B, here at The Outdoor News we’d like to
pose the question: Where’s your sense of adventure??
A man in Rochester, NY was not interested in simply trapping or
extricating the bushy-tailed rodent that found its way into his
home recently. No sir, he was prepared to teach that little
acorn-munching bugger a lesson it would not soon forget.
As a result, he opted for pepper spray-the same hard-hitting
compound that wildlife authorities recommend to ward off angry,
charging, 800-pound grizzly bears in Wyoming’s Grand Tetons.
The squirrel, apparently, was neither impressed nor deterred by the
Instead, the occupants of the house now know firsthand what it’s
like to be on the receiving end of the airborne irritant.
Paramedics treated five people inside the house for exposure to
pepper spray, washing the noxious chemical from the victims’ eyes
and nasal passages. Firefighters also placed fans around the house
to help clear the spray-filled air.
And the squirrel?
“When the fire department went in and opened up all of the windows,
the squirrel decided to leave,” Rochester Fire Department Deputy
Fire Chief Scott Williams told the Rochester Democrat and
Chronicle. “I guess he figured his work there was done.”
Coast Guard Redefines ‘Boatload’
In case you didn’t know it, Americans, on average, are getting
heavier. Just ask the U.S. Coast Guard.
With its publishing in the Federal Register and implementation on
March 14, the Coast Guard regulation governing the maximum number
of passengers that may safely be permitted on board ferries, tour
boats, large charters and water taxis has changed for the first
time since the rules were first implemented in the 1960s.
The changes reflect an increase in the Assumed Average Weight per
Person (AAWPP) from 160 pounds to 185 pounds.
The new rules affect only those vessels that require an annual
Coast Guard certificate of inspection, not bass boats and other
recreational crafts that usually carry a specific recommended
weight capacity rather than an individual passenger limit.
The 185-pound standard was calculated by averaging weight ratios
for men and women of various ages.
“Over the decades people have gotten bigger and they weigh more,
according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),
so the Coast Guard regulations were adjusted to reflect that,” said
Coast Guard spokeswoman Lisa Nova. According to the CDC, for
Americans aged 20 and older, the average weight for men is 194.7
pounds and for women 164.7 pounds.
Simply, fatter passengers translate to fewer fares for charter
boats-and, very likely, higher prices, to boot.