Pirates have operated on the high seas for about as long as man has been using the waterways as a way to transport people and goods from place to place.
Pirates have been portrayed in film as fun loving scoundrels who love to drink and pillage and excel at swordplay and are often glorified as a seafaring Robin Hood.
Modern children know and love Jack Sparrow and probably could not tell you who John Paul Jones was. All this said, piracy is not only alive and well off the coast of Somalia, but river pirates are operating on the waters around Rome.
The pirates in the Rome area are not wielding muskets and sabers and making people walk the plank, but instead are using the waterways to access boat-docks to steal boats, motors, fishing tackle and more. I have several friends that live on the banks of the Etowah River and have lost thousands of dollars worth of boats, motors and fishing tackle.
In the past few years since the boat ramp was installed near Ga. Loop 1, there have been 2 canoes, 1 kayak, 2 jon boats and 3 outboard motors stolen from homes just upstream from the ramp and this is just what I personally know of.
The first incident on the Etowah was the theft of an almost brand new boat and motor and fishing tackle. The boat was tied to the dock and overnight someone floated by, cut the rope and floated the boat to the ramp.
They removed the 15 hp Mercury motor and gas tank and fishing equipment and set the boat adrift. The boat was recovered downstream but the engine is gone.
Within a year, the next door neighbor had an identical motor stolen off his boat in the front yard. Just a few weeks back a CRBI kayak was stolen from a trailer at the boat ramp and a few weeks earlier a house was broken into and guns, binoculars and other items were stolen.
These eight thefts and a break-in were all on the banks of the Etowah but boat thefts are going on all over Floyd County and all of North Georgia. This summer canoes, trailers & gear were stolen at the Etowah put in on U.S. 411. I have had 2 canoes stolen from my home and there have been 2 jon boats stolen from my fathers back yard and they were taken all on different days over the past several years.
Jet skis, trolling motors, fishing gear and boats are stolen from lake and river homes as well as subdivisions and garages weekly. An employee at Southeastern Mills sold his lake lot because he was tired of the thieves. I feel certain that many items are taken just to sell to buy drugs but some are probably on a distant lake or river.
There is not much we can do about the thefts other than make it difficult for thieves to get the items or mark them so obviously that thieves/pirates will not want them.
I would suggest that the owners name be burned into the hull of fiberglass or plastic canoes, kayaks and boats and put in an obvious and open location. We may not catch the pirates, but we need to make life hard for them.
If you know of someone who has unexpectedly acquired a boat, motor, canoe or kayak and suspect that it could be stolen please report it to the police. The next act of piracy could be in your back yard.
Thanks for a GREAT COOK OFF
This years Chili Cook Off was a tremendous success and went as smoothly as any we have ever had. The crowd turnout was very good, the music was wonderful, the weather could not have been better and the chili was outstanding. We want the people of Northwest Georgia and our sponsors that helped to make the event happen to know that we appreciate all of them from the bottom of our hearts. Without all of you, the cook off could not happen.
There will be a very important speaker at the Nov. 15 meeting of the Coosa Valley Chapter. The Trout Unlimited Vice President of Government affairs will be the featured speaker. Steve Moyer has been a part of Trout Unlimited for many years and has helped TU to stay on top of issues that not only affect trout and salmon anglers but also can affect all the population of the country. This meeting will be open to the public and will give the people of Rome an opportunity to learn more about what Trout Unlimited does.