The Desert IndependentTM

Serving Blythe and the Desert Regions of the Southwest Since 2001


4th of July Weekend – Colorado River Enhanced Patrol

July 2, 2019

NEEDLES, Calif – The Colorado River Station will be conducting Fourth of July Marine Enforcement Patrol Operations Thursday, July 4 through Sunday, July 7. Deputies from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department will be involved in enhanced patrol activities near and on the waterways of the Colorado River patrolling by land, water, and air. Deputies will be deployed from the Nevada State line to the Riverside County line and will be monitoring the waterway for operators operating watercraft under the influence and operating watercraft in a reckless manner.

Persons stopped operating watercraft under the influence of alcohol and or drugs will be arrested and booked into jail. Deputies will also be closely watching for children under the age of 13 without personal floatation devices (PFDs) while aboard vessels. The law requires all persons under the age of 13 while onboard a vessel wear a personal floatation device.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department encourages all persons to wear personal floatation devices while on the waterways as it is a proven fact personal floatation devices save lives.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff Department's Marine Enforcement Unit will also be participating in Operation Dry Water July 5th through July 7th. Operation Dry Water is a national campaign with more than 40 California agencies participating. The goal of Operation Dry Water is to help reduce the number of alcohol and drug-related accidents and fatalities and foster a stronger, more visible deterrent to boating under the influence.

Other violations commonly seen by marine patrol deputies are transom/bow riding and blue light violations. With the increasing popularity of wakeboarding, wake surfing, and tubing, deputies are noticing an increase of people on boats who are transom riding. All persons on board a boat while underway (not moored or at anchor) shall be within the confinements of the vessel, so the risk of falling overboard or being struck by a propeller is greatly reduced.

The blue light law requires all vessels approaching a law enforcement vessel with activated blue lights to come off plane and pass at a no wake speed so not to endanger the deputies during the stop and to reduce the chance of damaging boats.

All California boat operators 16-25yrs old are required to have in their possession a California Boater Education Card issued by the CA Division of Boating and Waterways. This age increases to 35yrs in 2020. For information on obtaining a card, go to

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department is dedicated to providing a safe boating atmosphere for the public and urges everyone to boat sober and wear their life jackets. For more information regarding safe boating practices, visit the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways web site at

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