Montesano, WA – As part of a statewide emphasis over Labor Day weekend, the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office says that they will have patrols that will be specifically targeting stand up paddleboarders.
According to a release, the GHSO says that in the last 29 years, Washington State has seen six stand up paddleboard (SUP) fatalities — four of those fatalities have occurred within the last 45 days and none of the victims were wearing a life jacket or leash.
Marine law enforcement agencies on Washington state’s marine and fresh waterways will be conducting safety emphasis patrols with the goal of educating residents about laws and safe practices.
What are the laws?
Every vessel, no matter the size — including kayaks, canoes and stand up paddleboards — is required by federal and Washington state laws to carry the following:
The penalty for failing to carry the proper safety equipment is a civil infraction punishable by a fine of $99 for each violation. For example, a stand up paddleboarder without an appropriate life jacket and sounding device could be charged with two violations for a possible fine totaling $198.
For more information about paddlesport safety, visit: www.paddlesafewa.org.