Attention Floaters and Paddlers
With the hot summer weather and the desire to stay cool many people are heading for the water. Just a reminder for those of you floating or paddling down the river in the next few weeks. We at the Sheriff’s Office want you to have fun, but most of all we want you to be safe, while enjoying the water. The State of Idaho has a few laws when floating or paddling on the lake or river.
• Vessel is defined: as every description of a watercraft used or capable of being used as a means of transportation for persons or cargo on the water. This includes rafts, canoes, kayaks, stand up paddle boards multi pontoon rafts and drift boats. The only exemptions are air mattresses, Single inner tubes, beach, and water toys.
• Every vessel motorized or non-motorized are required by law to have a life jacket. No one shall operate or be permitted to operate any vessel on the waters of this state without carrying on board personal floatation devices (Life Jackets). There shall be one properly sized life jacket, in good serviceable condition, readily accessible for everyone on board the vessel. The law also states; anyone 14 years or younger in a vessel 19 feet or less, must wear their life jacket, while the vessel is underway.
• Vessel underway is defined; as if the vessel is not at dock, shore or at anchor, the vessel is considered underway.
• Every vessel is required to have a sound producing device (Horn or Whistle) on board capable of being heard for ½ nautical mile.
• Every non-motorized vessel; is required to have an Idaho Invasive Species Sticker. The only exemptions; is for inflatable vessels less than 10 feet. These stickers can be purchased online at the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation web site, at Big Eddy Marina or at Freeman Creek Campground.
If you have any questions you can go to the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation home page, click “Boating” and there you will find the “My Boat” app. With this app you can type in any type of vessel and the app will let you know what is required to be a safe boater.
Have fun, be safe and remember “Life Jackets Worn, Nobody Morns”