Wednesday, June 22, 2011

First County in US to require a Life Jacket when SWIMMING!!!

"This Council sometimes thinks it's everybody's mom," said Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, who voted "no."

Supporters said the new rule will save lives.

The law appears to be the first of its kind in the state. Staff with the Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington said Kitsap and Clark counties had rules about people wearing life vests while on sail boards, water scooters and other water craft, but it didn't appear any other county required swimmers to wear the devices.

Voting "yes" were Councilmembers Larry Phillips, Joe McDermott, Bob Ferguson, Julia Patterson and Larry Gossett. Voting "no" were Lambert, Reagan Dunn, Pete von Reichbauer and Jane Hague.
County Executive Dow Constantine and Sheriff Sue Rahr supported the measure put forward by Councilmembers Phillips and McDermott. The new rule will be in effect until Oct. 1. Violators would first get a warning.

The new rule was prompted by safety concerns because excessive mountain snowpack could make area waterways particularly dangerous this summer.

"We are looking at a potentially deadly situation," Phillips said.