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Here’s what paddleboarders and kayakers need to do to avoid a costly ticket

This video will teach you to paddleboard

Jayne Saunders of Idaho River Sports goes through the basics of stand-up paddleboarding.
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Jayne Saunders of Idaho River Sports goes through the basics of stand-up paddleboarding.

Law enforcement will be on the water Labor Day weekend to make sure paddleboarders — plus kayakers and canoers — are carrying the same gear required for larger boats.

“Stand up paddleboarders need to know that as soon as their board leaves a designated swim area or goes beyond the surf, it is considered a vessel and therefore subject to recreational boating laws,” said Rob Sendak, Washington State Parks boating law administrator.

Tickets are expected to be issued during the emphasis patrol. They could add up quickly with a fine of $99 for each piece of required equipment that is missing.

The law requires that boats — including stand-up paddleboards — have appropriate life jackets, with anyone 12 or younger wearing their life jacket. Leashes to remain tethered to the paddleboard while in the water also are recommended.

Each paddleboarder also must carry a horn, whistle or bell and a white, all-around navigation light during low visibility times, such as foggy weather, dawn and dusk.

Those on federal waterways, including the Columbia and Snake rivers, also must carry flares.

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