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Respect the Bar

by Norris Comer

USCGThe U.S. Coast Guard has issued to the boating public a reminder to adhere to bar restrictions while traversing Pacific Northwest rivers. The announcement is especially poignant in light of the seven deaths associated with bar-related boating accidents that were reported along the Oregon Coast last year.

“The Pacific Northwest weather conditions can change in a matter of minutes,” said Captain Michael Trimpert, Coast Guard Sector North Bend Commander, in a press release. “Recognizing these changes and knowing what resources you have at your disposal will help protect yourself and others while on the water. There are also websites available for the public who may have questions on boating safety and radio broadcasts for current and updated information.”

Boat owners are advised to check weather reports and ensure that they are carrying operational safety and communication equipment before heading underway. Additionally, boaters are encouraged to check local bar conditions by calling the nearest U.S. Coast Guard station, tuning the VHF radio to 1610 AM, or looking online at wrh.noaa.gov.

If your life, the lives of loved ones aboard, and your expensive boat are not incentive enough to respect the bar, it’s worth noting that failure to comply with rules and regulations related to bar restrictions is a violation of Federal Law. Violation can result in penalties including imprisonment for up to ten years, up to a $10,000 fine, and forfeiture of the owner’s vessel and equipment.

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