Water & Boating Safety

Sheriff's Office Marine unit
  1.  Always swim with a buddy and stay close enough for visual and verbal communication.
  2. Have a plan and share it with an adult. Plans should include what time you are leaving, what time you expect to be back, where you are going. Include what time someone should call 911 if you don’t return.
  3. Never swim while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  4. Always bring a personal flotation device (PFD) with you. They save lives!
  5. Be aware of uneven surfaces, river currents, undertow and changing weather conditions. Lakes and rivers in our state are cold enough to cause drowning by cold water shock - even in the summer months.
  6. Learn CPR and basic water rescue skills.
  7. Make yourself visible to boaters.
  8. Stay hydrated.
  9. Wear sun protection.
  10. Bring the proper equipment with you:
    • Cell phone in a waterproof bag
    • Portable light source with extra batteries
    • Whistle

Washington State Boater Education Card

In Washington, all boaters ages 12 and older are required to pass a boating safety course or an exam in order to operate a motorboat with 15 horsepower or greater. It is also state law that all people in a boat must have a properly fitting U.S. Coast Guard–approved life jacket.