Filed Under (Boating Safety) by Debbie on 11-02-2008

2005 brought complains to the Oregon State Marine Board in reguards to the wakes from wakeboard boats in a section of the Williamette River.  Waterfront homeowners as well as other recreational water users have banded together to protect themselves and their property from abuse and damage.

It’s not just the wakes they are concerned with but also the sound systems we all have.  I know I’m guilty of hydro-foiling with my music coming from the boat.  I guess I need to remember that not everyone likes Led Zeppelin, Queen and Hank Jr. 

According to the Marine Board: 

…The first step was reviewing if law enforcement in this area was adequately applied. We decided it was not. If a skipper operates his boat in a way that damages or is likely to damage private property or cause injury, ORS 830.305 clearly states it as a citable offense. At $720, it’s a significant fine, too. We will be looking for violations this boating season, so be warned. If you’re operating your boat in a developed area, near other small boats, paddlers, or swimmers and you create a wake that causes damage or injury, you could be cited….

While my understanding is this is an on going process with public comment still coming in.  We boaters need to be aware that we can be fined $499.00 to $6,250.  Watch for the ‘play away’  and ‘don’t wake me’ signs.  Plus look around and give yourself lots of room for those wakes to unroll.

At the Marine Board January meeting they decided to create a new wake workgroup that includes representation from a variety of stakeholders:  homeowners, dealers, industry, users, law enforcement, and wake boarders.  The Board also directed staff to investigate a dedicated law enforcement presence on the Willamette River to enforce noise and wake concerns.  Representatives from the new wake workgroup will work with the Marine Board to improve education and outreach in the area.

For more information, contact Randy Henry, Policy and Planning Analyst at (503) 378-2611.

If you didn’t get the mailing they sent out then use the links below to read the one you should have received.

Wakeboarders click here.

Yacht owners click here.

We’ve been boating for many years.  I remember when you didn’t need an observer and when your skier went down you held up your arm.  Then someone showed up on the lake with a bright orange flag and we all thought ‘what a great idea’.  Then even though we were all doing it, the State decided it needed to be a law.  Let’s find a way to work together so everyone can enjoy the water without having to have big brother aka The State of Oregon breathing down our wakes and music.  A little common sense and the golden rule is really all it should take.

After all, $6,250 is a lot of fuel to do without!  So Wakeup and watch your Wake! 

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