Sheriff’s Office Beefing Up Holiday Marine Patrols

NINE MILE FALLS — The 4th of July isn’t just a busy boating weekend, but the U.S. Coast Guard says it can be the deadliest boating weekend of the year.

Because of that, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is beefing up marine patrols on the county’s lakes and rivers.

If one is planning on heading out on the water this weekend, you may run into a sheriff’s marine enforcement unit.  The sheriff’s office is beefing marine patrols this holiday weekend, as deputies are looking for dangerous fireworks and making boat safety checks.

“We’re doing our usual patrol,” says Spokane County Deputy Jay Bailey, “making contacts, doing safety inspections, looking for operational issues, violations of the law.”

They want to make sure boaters have lifejackets for everyone on board, whistles and other noise makers, along with proper registration and tags.  This 4th of July, they’re also on the look out for other boating violations.

“Alcohol, of course,” Deputy Bailey says.  “With boating under the influence, we’re looking for that as well. I was surprised, gratefully, that I didn’t see any illegal fireworks.”

Boaters like Jason Knudtson know deputies are just doing their job.  He now knows he’s got to replace something on his boat.

“This is the first time that I had anything that went wrong,” he says, “and that’s the little air horn.”