Lake and River Safety Reminder
With the weather getting warmer, our region's beautiful lakes and waterways look like a great way to cool off and have fun. However, our area lakes and rivers remain extremely cold, and the Spokane River flow changes, causing potentially dangerous currents and hazards covered by water.
The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and Marine Enforcement Unit would like to remind everyone to remain safe and wear a properly fitted personal flotation device (Coast Guard-approved type III-V, life jacket). Hypothermia can occur quickly in cold water, and even the most experienced swimmer could soon be in a life-threatening emergency.
Already this year, there have been instances on the Spokane River of kayaks and canoes that have tipped over. Thankfully, the operators were prepared and wearing personal floatation devices.
Recreational boaters and people testing their fishing abilities are urged to wear life jackets and remain sober while on the water. Have a plan, share it with family and friends, including where you will be and when you plan to be home. This information can be invaluable to rescuers if something happens and you need assistance.
Remember, in Spokane County, children 12-year-old and younger must wear a properly fitted and approved personal floatation device while the vessel is underway, regardless of the vessel’s length or regardless if the boat has an enclosed cabin.
Each summer, we see unfortunate accidents where people enjoying our beautiful waterways drowned or are seriously injured. Most of these accidents are preventable if you remember to wear a life jacket, be informed of impending bad weather, know the waterways you’re using, make good, safe choices, and remain sober while operating a boat.
Please think ahead, think about your safety, the safety of those you're with, have a plan, be prepaid for the unexpected, and always wear a properly fitted and approved personal floatation device.