Coast Guard reminds boaters to stay safe during the Buoy 10 fishing season on the Columbia River

Norman Vielmette shows Corey Deck, Coast Guard Auxiliary, his life jackets during a vessel safety check prior to launching his boat at the Hammond Marina Boat Ramp in Hammond, Ore., Aug. 14, 2015. The Coast Guard Auxiliary offers free vessel safety checks to any boater that asks them to. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Levi Read)

Norman Vielmette shows Corey Deck, Coast Guard Auxiliary, his life jackets during a vessel safety check prior to launching his boat at the Hammond Marina Boat Ramp in Hammond, Ore., Aug. 14, 2015. The Coast Guard Auxiliary offers free vessel safety checks to any boater that asks them to. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Levi Read)

WARRENTON, Ore. — The Coast Guard would like to remind boaters to stay safe during the Columbia River’s Buoy 10 fishing season, which started August 1.

The Buoy 10 fishing season, named after the channel marker near the mouth of the Columbia River, brings thousands of fishermen from around the world each year to the Columbia River.

Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 8 and 9, Coast Guard Sector Columbia River personnel responded to 19 cases, 12 of which where search-and-rescue cases on the Columbia River.

“This is a good time to remind boaters to check their safety equipment to ensure they are ready for all contingencies and emergencies,” said Cmdr. Rosemary Firestine, chief of response, Coast Guard Sector Columbia River. “It gets very busy out there, so we ask all mariners to abide by all federal and state regulations, follow the ‘navigational rules of the road,’ and help keep the waterways safe for all users.”

The navigational rules of the road are essential for safety on the water. Rules such as rule 9, which states that smaller vessels less than 20 meters in length are required to move out of the way of larger vessels that may be restricted to a narrow channel, are in place to help all mariners know how they should be safely maneuvering their vessel.

The Coast Guard reminds boaters that contracted passenger vessels should be outfitted with proper lifesaving and firefighting equipment,  emergency checklist, and passengers must receive a safety orientation from the master or crew upon departure from the dock. All members aboard a boat must have a life jacket readily available, and any children under the age of 13 are required by law to be wearing a life jacket while on the open decks of a vessel.

Additionally, boaters are recommended to maintain an awareness of changing weather conditions especially wind and tide conditions as they can quickly change the condition of the river.

Coast Guard Auxiliary members are available to provide free safety examinations. They are also scheduled to be at major docks along the Columbia River, on weekends during the Buoy 10 season. If interested in receiving a free vessel examination, please contact your local Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla or visit http://www.cgaux.org/.

If you observe or have knowledge of a vessel operating out of compliance with the above requirements, please contact the Coast Guard Sector Columbia River command center at 503-861-6211 or on marine VHF-FM radio channel 16.Local law enforcement and the Coast Guard Auxiliary will be commencing safety patrols throughout the season.

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