Safety Update

Safety - 8/27/2018
It has been a great safe and hot summer to be on the lake. The Lake Patrol has reported that we’ve seen far fewer safety violations this summer, thank you for your part in keeping the lake safe for all users. As we finish up the summer boating session we have three safety opportunities for all to focus on:

Lake Patrol Cell Phone Number:
The Lake Patrol is there for your safety. The Patrol needs your help to help ensure we’ll continue to have a safe water experience. We strongly encourage all boaters to carry your cell phone and make sure you have saved the Patrol’s cell phone number (503-810-5411) in your phone.
Our patrol boats carry AED’s, first aid kits, emergency pumps and other emergency supplies and quickly respond to boating issues from a motor not starting and leaving you in the middle of the lake to reports of an unsafe boater. Best of all, if you are ever stuck on the other side of the gate at the dock’s in Lakewood Bay, those last four digits of the LakePatrol’s phone number (5411) unlocks the gate. 

If you see a truly a threatening life situation, first call 911.The regional 911 call center, Lake Oswego Communications Center (LOCOM) located in our City Hall can quickly dispatch police and other emergency services. All of our Lake Patrol boats have police radios so LOCOM along with LO police and Fire can communicate with our Patrol.

Safety starts with all of us. Carry your cell phone and make sure you have programmed Lake Patrol’s boat phone number (503-810-5411) in your phone. If something does not look right, just a quick call to 503-810-5411 is on their way.

Guest Paddle Craft& Swimmers One-Minute Safety Briefing:
On these hot summer days there is nothing better than jumping in the lake or grabbing a SUP for a paddle around the lake. If you have been on the lake, you know to stay behind the orange buoy line for your safety but your guest may not.

Part of being a great host is ensuring that your guests know these basic rules. Make sure your family always takes the time to give a safety briefing to your guests. The following topics should always be covered:
  • Always stay behind the orange buoy line when swimming or paddling. 
  • Do not hang on the orange 100 foot buoys and do not swim near the 100 foot buoy line. When the sun is bright it can be hard to see someone hanging on or swimming between the buoys.
  • Keep your paddle craft behind the orange buoy line
  • Always carrying personal floatation devices (PFDs) on your boat, kayak and canoe.
  • Being a good host means asking your guests if they can swim. If your guest is a non-swimmer or under 12 years of age they must wear a PFD always while in a Boat
Being a host on the lake comes means making sure that your guests have fun and stay safe, and that starts with each of us giving that one-minute safety briefing. That one minute just may save someone’s life.

Boating & Wakes: The LOC President earlier this month wrote about knowing your wake. All boats make a wake, and in the State of Oregon you are legally responsible for any damages caused by your wake. This State wake regulation applies to watersports boats and your evening cocktail cruises. 

On Oswego Lake, we require that all powerboats be at no wake speed within100 feet of a swimmer or a non-motorized craft; this applies whether inside or outside the buoy line. So, if a paddler or swimmer is near that orange buoy line, you must be at least another 100 feet further out in the lake. Even then, if your wake causes someone to fall off their SUP, you are responsible for any damages or injuries. Our orange buoys are set at a minimum of 100 feet from the shore. If you see a paddler or a swimmer in the water double that orange buoy/shore distances to ensure you are at least 100 feet from them. 

If you are operating a powerboat in the narrow areas of the Main Lake arms or Lakewood Bay, you must be very careful watching your wake affecting non-power boat lake users. If you are observed by the Lake Patrol or the County Sherriff not driving your boat at a non-wake speed within a 100 feet of a swimmer or paddle craft, you will be cited.

Safety on the lake starts and ends with each of us. So store the Lake Patrol number (503-810-5411), give that one minute safety briefing and watch your wake and most of all, enjoy the last days of summer.