Coast Guard cites, fines recreation boaters blocking deep-draft channels

The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:

(ASTORIA, Ore.) — Four boaters were cited during Operation Make Way this weekend.

The Coast Guard, Clark County Sheriff's Department and Columbia County Sheriff's Department worked together to ensure the waterways along the Columbia River and Willamette Rivers were safe for transiting deep draft vessels and to educate boaters about the dangers of impeding vessel traffic.

Sheriff's department crews assisting with the operation issued four citations to boaters who were blocking vessel traffic and posing a danger to mariners.  Fines associated with the citations were for $260.

Operation Make Way is a joint recreational boater education and enforcement campaign designed to help boaters understand the need to give way and stay clear of commercial deep draft vessels on the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. 

Rule 9 in the Navigational Rules of the Road requires recreational boaters to give way to larger vessels restricted in their ability to maneuver.  Recreational fishermen, often caught up in the excitement of a day on the water, frequently neglect to give way to larger vessels in a timely manner. Waiting until the last second to move from the path of these larger vessels is illegal and highly dangerous.

For more information about Operation Make Way, please contact the Coast Guard Public Affairs office at 503-861-6237

By Professional Mariner Staff