Who Enforces Boating Laws?
The boating laws of Oregon are primarily enforced by county sheriffs and Oregon State Police officers. The USCG also has enforcement authority on all federally controlled waters.
- They are authorized to “signal a boat operator to bring the boat to a stop” to conduct a safety inspection:
- With the owner or operator’s consent or…
- If a sheriff or other police officer confirms that a safety violation has occurred (Probable Cause), the sheriff or officer shall conduct a complete safety inspection to determine compliance with all other applicable safety laws.
- Whenever contacted by one of these officers, you must stop and permit the officer to come alongside to check your Certificate of Number and required safety equipment.
- When you are being approached by a law enforcement boat using its blue flashing light and/or siren, you must slow to the slowest speed at which you can safely steer your boat. You may proceed unless otherwise directed by the law enforcement officer.
- When approaching a stationary law enforcement boat displaying its blue lights, consider it to be the same as a boat ramp with a 200-foot, “no wake” speed zone around it. You should slow immediately to the slowest speed at which it is possible to maintain steering. You also should alter your course so that you do not interfere or inhibit the operation of the law enforcement boat. You may increase your speed only when you are out of the vicinity of the law enforcement boat.
- Please pick up the current publication of Experience Oregon Boating for further explanation of Oregon’s boating rules and regulations.