Kick off Fourth of July, and summer with these water safety tips
With the Fourth of July officially kicking off summer in Oregon, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office River Patrol Unit and Oregon State Marine Board want to remind residents to never go into the water in hopes of saving someone in an emergency. Instead, follow the “Reach, Throw, Row, Go” procedure.
- Reach: Extend an arm or another object if you’re able to reach the person safely without entering the water.
- Throw: If the person is out of reach, extend the throwable device that’s on board your boat.
- Row: Row to their location.
- Go: If none of the other options are applicable--do not get in the water--call emergency responders for help. Call 9-1-1. For non-emergencies contact 503-823-3333.
Before heading out on the water, make sure your boat is properly operating and has all its required safety equipment. That includes:
- A fully charged and operable fire extinguisher for motorized boats
- Sound-producing device to signal for help (whistle, horn. etc.)
- An equal number of personal floatation devices on board to the number of people
- Children younger than 12 are required by law to wear a life jacket in both moving and anchored boats. And children of all ages should be supervised around any water.
- Throwable device for rescue such as a life ring
- Drinking water to stay hydrated.
River Patrol also reminds boaters that while there is no open-container law prohibiting the consumption of alcohol, the alcohol level that’s considered impairment is the same as driving (.08 percent). Weather, wind, heat, and the motion of being on the water can multiply the effects of alcohol. Boating Under the Influence is strongly enforced.
For more information, visit the Oregon State Marine Board at boatoregon.com.