Lifejackets Required at County Rivers

Seattleites swimming, floating or boating will face a fine if they don’t wear a life vest.

The King County Council passed a measure requiring all swimmers in county rivers to wear a life vest, according to news reports.

The measure passed Monday with a 5-to-4 vote. Executive Dow Constantine, who called for the summer-long life vest requirement, will now have to sign the measure.

“The measure will take effect 10 days after the executive signs it,” according to news reports. “First-time offenders will be issued a warning. A second violation will mean an $86 fine.”

It would require people in unincorporated King County to wear a life jacket through summer until Halloween.

“This proposal will help save lives,” Constantine said in a statement. “River flows are unusually swift and cold this year due to a heavy mountain snowpack that is melting into King County rivers. Rivers are inherently dangerous places to play, but this year is bringing additional risks. The wearing of life jackets is as essential for swimmers and boaters as helmets for cyclists and seat belts for drivers.”

A County Councilmember will sponsor the ordinance and introduce it Monday.

Water lovers who aren’t wearing a life vest could face a fine of up to $86.

Nearly 20 people died in drowning accidents in King County every year, according to news reports. The sheriff’s department said it supports the ordinance.

As a Seattle personal injury lawyer, I think it’s important that people take necessary safety measures when swimming or near water to protect themselves and their family.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a swimming pool accident, contact a personal injury lawyer in Seattle.