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Many Boats Will Hit The Waterways This Holiday Weekend

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Amador County, CA – A swift water rescue near Mokelumne Hill was carried out during this “National Boating Safety Week.”

On Thursday, a woman paddle boarding on the Mokelumne River fell off the board into the water, and she was not wearing a life jacket. The Amador County Sheriff’s Swift Water Rescue Team found the woman holding onto a tree in the middle of the river along Electra Road. Luckily, they were able to safely retrieve her from the rushing waters, unharmed. Most waterways statewide are experiencing fast-flowing water due to the winter storms dumping historic levels of snow.

While this incident did not involve an actual boat, the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office last week warned of dangerously swift waterways. Its boating safety team provided these essential boating safety tips:

  1. Life Jackets: To prioritize the safety of everyone on board, each vessel occupant must have a readily accessible life jacket while the boat is in motion.
  2. Life Jackets for Children: Specifically for children under 13 years of age, it is mandatory for them to always wear a life jacket while the vessel is in motion.
  3. Fire Extinguisher: Prioritize preparedness by verifying that your fire extinguisher is fully charged and in proper working condition.
  4. Sound-Making Device: Equipping your vessel with a noise or sound-making device is essential for effective communication and signaling.
  5. California Boaters Card: Please be aware that individuals aged 45 and under are legally required to possess a valid California Boaters card. Starting January 1, 2023, this requirement extends to individuals aged 50 and under. By 2025, all boaters will be required to obtain the card regardless of age.
  6. Designated Lookout: Ensure the safety of your occupants and individuals engaged in water activities, such as skiing, by always having a designated lookout.
  7. Hydration: Given the heat, we strongly advise maintaining proper hydration by regularly consuming water while enjoying the lakes.
  8. Alcohol Consumption: While it is not illegal to consume alcohol on a boat, operating a vessel under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs is against the law. The blood alcohol limit for boating is the same as that for driving a car, which is 0.08%. Boating Under the Influence (BUI) convictions may result in a fine of up to $1,000 and a jail term of six months. Furthermore, alcohol consumption contributes to approximately 25% of all fatal motorboat accidents in California. We recommend avoiding alcoholic beverages that can impair judgment, balance, vision, and reaction time.
  9. Debris Awareness: It is important to note that Tuolumne County has experienced a significant amount of snowfall this year, leading to the presence of debris from the rivers in our lakes. Please be vigilant while navigating these waters to avoid damage to your vessel or harm to occupants caused by floating debris.



  • Tuolumne County Sheriff's Boat Safety Team on the waters during National Boating Safety Week
  • Tuolumne County Sheriff's Boat Safety Team on the waters during National Boating Safety Week