Lake Billy Chinook Saturation Patrol Yields BUII, Other Offenses

A few things to note in this image: drinking while operating a boat and a child not wearing a life jacket. It is against Oregon boating law for an operator to be impaired and for children under 13 to not be wearing a properly fitting, US Coast Guard approved life jacket.

A few things to note in this image: drinking while operating a boat and a child not wearing a life jacket. It is against Oregon boating law for an operator to be impaired and for children under 13 to not be wearing a properly fitting, US Coast Guard approved life jacket.

Staff from the Marine Board and marine patrols from Jackson, Jefferson, Klamath, Marion, Lane and Multnomah County combined their on-water patrol efforts on Lake Billy Chinook during the weekend of August 7-8, which resulted in improved safety and “education through enforcement.”

Lake Billy Chinook is a popular destination for Oregon natives and out-of-state boaters as well. The nearly-guaranteed perfect weather and boating conditions attract boaters, and with the added bonus of having a plethora of open operating space, many boaters forget the basic rules and responsibilities when operating with other recreationists.

The coordinated effort sought compliance for safety equipment, safe operation, and sober boating. The efforts paid off, and for many, the lesson was costly.

During the weekend, the following citations were issued:

  • Boating under the influence of intoxicants (BUII) – potential A misdemeanor violation
  • Unsafe operation (excessive speed, coming too close to other craft or floating objects)
  • Not having proper equipment for the length/type of boat (life jackets, sound producing devices, fire extinguishers
  • Non-compliance with personal watercraft operating rules (speed and proximity)
  • Lack of proper nighttime navigation lighting. Many boaters were at anchor with no lighting, and towing skiers/tubers after dusk.
  • Riding on bows, decks or gunwhales
  • Not having skier down flags or other waterskiing, surfboarding or similar activity’s safety rules
  • Not having a boater education card or aquatic invasive species permit
  • Improper display of numbers or not carrying a certificate of number (similar to a car registration).

Complying with existing laws is for everyone’s safety. Anyone operating a motorboat over 10 horse power is required to take a boating safety course and carry their boater education card when operating their boat. When renting, customers are required to complete a dockside safety checklist and all of the same operating rules apply. Rental facilities need to ensure that all customers understand what to do to be safe by going through the checklist carefully.

At the end of the weekend, 52 citations were issued, with the majority involving unsafe operation and improper lighting. It’s important that all boaters play by the rules, for safety’s sake. Fortunately, there were no reported accidents during this targeted operation.

To learn about boating regulations, visit http://www.oregon.gov/OSMB/BoatLaws/Pages/Regulations.aspx.

The Marine Board’s website also contains a flip book called,Experience Oregon Boating –Safety, Regulations and How-To’s for Fun Boating,” explaining each regulation and why it’s important. The flip-book is mobile friendly. The flip-book is also mobile friendly to easily access information at your fingertips. Other requirements, such as the boater education card and aquatic invasive species, both aim to educate boaters about safe boating behavior, which begins the minute a boat hits a parking lot in the boating facility to the time it leaves.

To view a list of fines for particular offenses, visit http://www.oregon.gov/OSMB/BoatLaws/docs/BailSchedule.pdf.

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