Boating safety tips for eclipse viewing
Are you planning to be on the water for the eclipse? The Oregon State Marine Board, marine law enforcement and boating facility providers offer boating safety tips so everyone can have an unforgettable time on the water.
• Arrive early. Expect gridlock on highways and access points before, during and after the event. Once out on the water, plan to stay a while. If a boating facility is at capacity, have a backup plan for where to go. Single cars that park in boat trailer parking may be ticketed or towed. Parking on road shoulders or in the grass is discouraged due to potential fire hazards and could impede emergency responders.
• Have plenty of food, water, and anchor line. It's also highly recommended to have a port-a-potty and to take advantage of floating restrooms. Leave no trace; dispose of garbage properly.
• Prep your boat ahead of time. Avoid prepping the boat at the ramp to keep the ramp clear for efficient launching and retrieving for others. Paddlers are urged to use the bank to launch and retrieve.
• Anchor or beach the boat during the different phases and totality. With congested waterways comes the increased risk of collisions. It's best to find a good spot and stay put. If you need to be underway, go slow and be aware of what's directly in front and to the sides of you. Expect people in float toys and wading in the water near the shoreline.
• Have special viewing glasses for the eclipse and avoid looking in the sky for long periods of time. Alternate between the viewing glasses and regular sun glasses to protect your eyes from not only the sun, but the glare off the water.
• Observe all regulations, including slow-no wake rules at boat ramps, marinas or moorages, floating home moorages and people working at water level. As an added courtesy, operate at slow-no wake speeds within 100 feet of other boaters.All boating and night time navigation rules apply. Running lights are required during the eclipse and anchor lights are required for power-driven boats and sailboats at anchor. Nonmotorized boats can use a flashlight or lighted lantern. It's important to be seen during the two minutes of darkness.Law enforcement will be on the water, paying close attention to boats operating unsafely during the eclipse. The fine for unsafe boating is $465, so be patient, courteous, and stay on the water a while to fully enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime event.
To find a boating facility in the path of totality and other eclipse resources, visit http://www.oregon.gov/OSMB/Pages/Eclipse.aspx. Facility closures are displayed with an orange boat icon on the map layer.