UCSO says put safety first on the water

By on Friday, June 11th, 2021 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

PENDLETON – As days grow warmer, people flock to water. The Umatilla County Sheriff’s Marine Division is already on patrol, working to keep people safe.

“Our patrols are out there doing boat inspections,” Undersheriff Jim Littlefield said. “Periodically, we’ll have some people who are operating under the influence, and that’s a big no-no.”

Sheriff Terry Rowan urged that safety isn’t just up to those operating big boats. He urges people who are swimming, rafting, or canoeing to stay alert.

“Some of these boats, they cannot stop on a dime,” he said. “So clear away from the boat ramp areas as soon as you can and stay clear of those until it’s time to come in.”

The marine unit patrols major waterways and shorelines throughout the county, including 195 miles along the Columbia River, above and below McNary Dam, and at the McKay Reservoir.