Outdoors

King County follows Spokane: votes to require life jackets

In this Saturday, May 21, 2011 photo, Bruce Crawford and Grace Nash pass out water safety brochures at the International Cuisine Festival in Painesville, Ohio. A judge sentenced the pair to stand in a tiny swimming pool while wearing life jackets and handing out the brochures in lieu of jail time, after searchers spent hours looking for them last month after they were spotted on the Grand River and they lied to an official about being in the water.  ((AP Photo/The News-Herald, Michael Allen Blair))
In this Saturday, May 21, 2011 photo, Bruce Crawford and Grace Nash pass out water safety brochures at the International Cuisine Festival in Painesville, Ohio. A judge sentenced the pair to stand in a tiny swimming pool while wearing life jackets and handing out the brochures in lieu of jail time, after searchers spent hours looking for them last month after they were spotted on the Grand River and they lied to an official about being in the water. ((AP Photo/The News-Herald, Michael Allen Blair))

BOATING — A divided King County Council has passed a measure to require all swimmers, floaters and boaters on the county’s rivers to wear life vests.

Spokane County already has a similar law that reads:

All persons regardless of age shall wear a personal flotation device while on moving water.

King County's new law will take effect 10 days after the county executive signs it.

Council opponents called it an intrusive move by “big government.” In the words of Councilwoman Kathy Lambert — who voted ‘no’ — “This council sometimes thinks it’s everybody’s Mom.”

Supporters say it will help save lives.

First-time offenders will get a warning; a second violation will mean an $86 fine.




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.


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