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Memorial Weekend Boat Safety Emphasis

Posted 5/29/2012 10:41 AM by MDGREGORY

Spokane County Sheriff's Deputies will be conducting boat inspections both on the water and at ramps to aid in safer boating over Memorial weekend. Enforcement will target those blatantly disregarding safe boating practices. A “Zero Tolerance” policy will be in place for Operating Under the Influence, lack of PFD’s (life jackets), and failure to obtain the... mandatory boating education card as required. We recommend all vessels carry a throwable PFD (Type IV) which is required if your vessel is 16 feet or longer in length.

Deputies will be checking local lakes for Wake Violations and Noise Violations. Boaters are reminded that each vessel must have an effective muffler installed which reduces the sound to a legal level. Also, all vessels, to include “wake boats”, are responsible for any wake they create. Enforcement for a damaging wake starts at a $250 fine and can increase to a criminal nature if intent is present. All operators of wake boats are cautioned to watch their wake and its effects. Wake boats should only be operated in the center of the lake, away from other vessels, and far enough away from the shore to allow wake dissipation prior to it reaching the shore, docks, or other vessels.

Boaters are reminded each vessel must contain at least one life vest for each person aboard. These vests must be appropriately sized and in good condition. Children 12 years old and younger must wear a life vest (PFD) whenever the boat is not docked, anchored, or beached (“while under way”).

Adults are encouraged to wear a life vest at all times as well. Falling into our local lakes given the current water temps will make it very difficult to reboard your vessel without assistance. The onset of hyperthermia will be quick given water temperatures in the high 40’s and air temperature in the low 40’s each morning.

Information about this Spokane Sheriff News story is also available at www.facebook.com/SpokaneCountySheriffsOffice