Coast Guard announces Columbia River closure

SEATTLE (D13 Public Affairs) – The Coast Guard announces the following closures on the Columbia River for the Tri-Cities hydroplane races and accompanying air show in Kennewick, Wash., July 25-27, 2008. As part of the event’s safety measures, it is important that the boating public take note of the following requirements and guidelines.

The Columbia River will be closed in the Kennewick area from 7 a.m. till 6 p.m., Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The public can pass normally through the race area at other times that weekend. Those planning to watch the races from a boat idling or anchored above the upper (upstream) anchor line or below the lower (downstream) anchor line should note the following.

  • The “No-Wake” zones (orange area on map) start 100 yards below red day board #52 on the upstream end (marked by a white buoy on both the Pasco and Kennewick shores) and at the green day board #49 on the downstream end.
  • Bring a good anchor with at least 100 feet of rope. It’s easiest to anchor near shore.
  • The large Coast Guard vessel by Hydro Island and a single white buoy on the Columbia Park shore (Kennewick side) mark the upstream anchor line.
  • White buoys near the shores just below the Blue Bridge mark the down stream anchor line.
  • If you plan to swim in the river, be sure and trail from your boat a line with a float to hang onto to assist in your return to your vessel because most people have difficulty swimming against the strong river current.
  • There will be Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, sheriff, Dive Rescue, and WA Fish & Wildlife boats at both ends of the racecourse if you have questions or need assistance.
  • For emergencies call 911 by phone, Channel 16 on a VHF radio, or flag down any of the patrolling agencies listed above.
  • Never overload your boat.
  • Never operate a vessel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Be safe on the water and always remember to wear your life jackets.
  • Always make sure children are wearing life jackets and that they are properly sized.
  • Observe No-Wake restrictions, exclusion zones, and other marine safety laws.
  • Obey law enforcement personnel and safe boating requirements. Violating the law can get you a ticket.

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