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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A couple of factual errors, but indeed Ringer Road WDFW access is busy - and an important link in the river safety chain for rescues.

Relocating the access area would have benefits for anglers and recreational floaters too - I suggest while they're at it to include public safety and common sense rules including mandatory life jackets (at least one for each person on the "craft", throw bags, whistles, and improved enforcement.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, it's a dynamic river system with inherent hazards, that tax payers fund rescue and enforcement on - why not develop a common sense set of rules that puts responsibility on all of the user groups, not solely on those who are prepared, pay fees to use, and are often the first responders? Yes, I mean the guides and those who prepare to float a river with safety equipment.
 

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Buenos Hatches Ese
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Yes, it's a dynamic river system with inherent hazards, that tax payers fund rescue and enforcement on - why not develop a common sense set of rules that puts responsibility on all of the user groups, not solely on those who are prepared, pay fees to use, and are often the first responders? Yes, I mean the guides and those who prepare to float a river with safety equipment.
My gut tells me they would never enforce life jackets on tubers considering they barely enforce any other river/fishing laws out there... but it's probably a good idea none the less...

Aren't Hanson Ponds in Cle Elum? Are they actually talking about the ponds that are right there where Tjossem Rd meets Canyon Rd? I'd rather see a new boat launch just downriver of Ringer instead of upriver. It's already a pretty long trip to the next launch (excluding Bighorn), and those ponds aren't very far from Irene which doesn't make much sense... Could they put a new launch where that other parking lot is on Ringer Rd, and then just abandon the "loop" portion of the road downriver from that? That parking lot seems to be upriver from where the water is jumping the bank.
 

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Driving the canyon during the giggle and splash season is kind of scary, those floaters get peeled and try driving from Roza back to town. Do they still have the BLM cops in the canyon during the summer time?
 

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I suggest while they're at it to include public safety and common sense rules including mandatory life jackets (at least one for each person on the "craft", throw bags, whistles, and improved enforcement.
I agree with you about the life jackets, Derek. However, there is nothing WDFW can do about that. It would take changing the state law - which specifically exempts the bikini hatch-type tubes/craft.

But, I wonder if Kittitas County could make their own ordinance? I think that a county ordinance would have a better chance of being enacted as it could be specific to the Yakima. Certainly, the county aware of the problem (or at least their first responders are). The sheriff's office would be able to patrol/enforce and the fines could add more money to the county's coffers. Just a thought...

Here is the key to the PFD law. Since inner tubes are not a vessel, then laws pertaining to vessels (including PFD use) do not apply. This also explains why float tubes (AKA inner tubes) do not need a PFD but a pontoon boat does.

79A.60.010
Definitions


(29) "Vessel" includes every description of watercraft on the water, other than a seaplane, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on the water. However, it does not include inner tubes, air mattresses, sailboards, and small rafts or flotation devices or toys customarily used by swimmers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Devil's in the details..."means of transportation" and "swimming" would indicate a delination between floating on a "vessel" as floating and not floating as swimming. No?

Moving water versus still? Yes, I lived in King County when the age minimums for life jackets were instituted. It did work.

I wonder if the County cares enough about the cost to provide rescue services versus the perceived "cost" of mandating possession of safety equipment on all floating craft in moving water.
 

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Spokane County has an ordinance requiring life jackets be worn by everybody on moving water. (See #2)
6.03.020 - Personal flotation devices (PFD)
  1. No person may operate or permit to be operated a vessel underway, unless each person twelve years of age or younger thereon is wearing a personal flotation device.
  2. All persons regardless of age shall wear a personal flotation device while on moving water.
Unfortunately it's rarely enforced.
 

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If I'm not mistaken, the requirement is for all vessels with "hull numbers" on them. For instance, my Buck's Bag pontoon has a number on the hull therefore to go on the water with it, I must wear a flotation device. Frankly, any cheap air matress user or tuber ought to be smart enough to wear a flotation device but alas, it doesn't happen. It's probably a good idea but it most likely will meet with a great deal of indifference.:eek:
 

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So why don't they just fix the Ringer launch? More big rocks just upstream of the launch and gravel the parking lot. Got to be cheaper than making a new one.
The launch/parking lot is fine aside from that it floods every once in a while. It's the road getting down to the launch that is the problem. When the river floods, it washes out Ringer Loop Rd and they don't want to keep fixing it. That is an actual asphalt road that's getting blown out, not gravel. I think the only way to prevent that would be to build a dike along the section of the road that runs right along the river, and that would be a huge project.
 
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