SEATTLE – Lakes and rivers are expected to be extremely busy with all types of water craft for the Fourth of July. The Seattle Police Department Harbor Patrol says it will be out in full force.
Big issues the harbor patrol sees during the festivities are boaters speeding and too much alcohol. Officers will look for and arrest people boating under the influence.
Boaters tend to have more passengers on their vessels and get easily distracted, says Officer Scott McGlashan. Police are also urging the public to slow down and be aware of swimmers, paddle boarders and kayakers.
Children 12 and younger must wear a life jacket on vessels less than 19 feet long, according to state law.
“Life vests are a big one for us. Drowning is the second-leading cause of deaths for children under 14. And that’s not only here, but across the U.S. We hit that one hard. Put a personal flotation device on kids and adults,” said McGlashan
If boaters plan on anchoring in Lake Union to watch the fireworks display, the harbor patrol says they must do so by 9:00 p.m.