News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Boating season is here – be safe

Boating season has arrived in the mid-valley and soon, local waterways will be filled with all kinds of watercraft – from kayaks and paddleboards to fishing boats to high-speed ski boats.

Linn County Marine Patrol Deputy Dan Graybill reminds everyone they can enjoy the area’s plentiful water resources, if we all follow some simple boating courtesy guidelines.

“Number one, make sure your boat maintenance is done before you launch at a ramp,” Graybill said.

Tempers can get short on a busy weekend day, when someone ties up valuable dock space trying to get their boat to run properly. All items needed for your outing should be in the boat and operational.

Long before you launch your boat, make sure the engine has been tuned up and runs properly, that the carburetor’s spark arrestor is clean of debris and oil or gas, and there are plenty of personal flotation devices and they fit accordingly for every person who will be in the boat.

Also, make sure the drain plug is in and that your boat’s bilge pump and engine exhaust fans are operational.

Have the boat tie-down straps off or ready to be take off easily and of course, make sure you have adequate working fire extinguishers on hand – check their expiration dates at home not at the ramp.

Graybill says anyone who can’t afford a life jacket for children, should call him at the Linn County Sheriff’s Office 541-967-3950.

“The courtesy docks are for people getting on and off boats,” Graybill said. “Please let passengers off on the dock and then move your boat out into the water to wait for your trailer to arrive. It will great decrease congestion at the ramp area.”

Graybill, who has been a Marine Deputy six years, reminds boat operators they can have alcohol in their watercraft, but just like driving an automobile, the operator cannot be intoxicated.

And just like with automobiles, put down your cell phone when operating a watercraft.

And, he adds, with boat ramp access at Green Peter Reservoir expected to be lost by mid-July, the number of boats on Foster Reservoir could be high so operators will need to be especially careful and have heightened awareness of others around them.

To learn more, visit the Oregon State Marine Board website at: https://www.oregon.gov/osmb/pages/index.aspx.

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