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Oregon enforcement officer checking vessel
County sheriffs, Oregon State Police officers, some municipal police officers, U.S. Coast Guard officers, and any other authorized law enforcement officers have the right to stop any boat in order to conduct a safety inspection (check for compliance with equipment and documentation requirements).

The boating laws of Oregon are primarily enforced by county sheriffs and Oregon State Police officers. The U.S. Coast Guard also has enforcement authority on all federally controlled waters.

  • They have the authority to stop any boat in order to conduct a safety inspection (check for compliance with equipment and documentation requirements).
  • 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 vessel. 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.