Paddleboarding has been gaining popularity. Traditionally they were used to surf in the ocean, but are now being used in the ocean beyond surfing areas and in lakes and rivers. Chelan County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol has seen a significant increase in use around the county.
In 2008, the Coast Guard determined that beyond the narrow limits of a swimming, surfing or bathing area, the device known as a “paddleboard” is a vessel and therefore subject to applicable regulations administered by the U.S. Coast Guard.
Below are 3 frequently asked questions about SUP’s:
Q1. Do I need to wear a life jacket on my paddleboard?
A1. When used beyond the narrow limits of a swimming, surfing, or bathing area, no person may use a paddleboard unless a Coast Guard approved, wearable life jacket for each person is on board and readily accessible. The Sheriff’s Office does encourage boaters to always wear a life jacket though.
Q2. Will paddleboards need to comply with navigation rules?
A2. When used as a vessel, paddleboards will need to comply with all applicable navigation rules, including the carriage of a sound producing device. A police type whistle would meet this requirement.
Q3. If I have an accident on a paddleboard, will I need to report it?
A3. Yes, if any of the below circumstances exist, the operator of a vessel shall submit the casualty or accident report to the Sheriff’s Office when, as a result of an occurrence that involves the vessel or its equipment if:
(1) A person dies;
(2) A person is injured and requires medical treatment beyond first aid;
(3) Damage to vessels and other property totals $2,000 or more or there is a complete loss of any vessel;
(4) A person disappears from the vessel under circumstances that indicate death or injury."CLICK HERE" for Audio