PRESS RELEASE FROM THE SPOKANE VALLEY POLICE DEPT: The Spokane County Sheriff's Office goal is to promote safe and courteous
boating. Deputies will be conducting boat inspections both on the water and at
ramps to aid in safe boating. 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 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) at all
time the boat is not docked, anchored, or beached.
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 re-board your vessel without assistance. Remember, most people drown during
the first couple of minutes of cold water immersion due to panic and the bodies
reaction to cold water.
Regardless of how good a swimmer you are, cold water
immersion is an emergency. The onset of hypothermia will be quick given water
temperatures in the 50's and air temperature in the low 40's each morning.