Friday, August 30, 2013

No need for PFD citations when loaner life jackets are available

By Deb Norton

In a small town like Orofino everyone knows where you live and who you are, how many sugars you take in your morning coffee at the café, what days you walk your dog (and its name), how many kids you have (and their names), what car you drive, and your favorite beverage. You can be sure that your neighbors and friends will know immediately if you are in trouble or if you need help and will rally around you.

There is also a disadvantage, at times, when your name appears in the local paper under the Courthouse News for failure to have PFDs (personal flotation devices, also known as life jackets) on board while boating - as everyone will soon know!

It is surprising to see how many individuals receive citations from the Sheriff’s Office for failure to carry the required number and proper size of PFDs, since Dworshak Dam and Reservoir has had PFD loaner boards on site since 2008.

Six different sizes of life jackets are carried at three different locations—Bruce’s Eddy, Big Eddy and Dent Acres Campground—by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Dworshak State Park maintains a PFD loaner board at Freeman Creek Campground. Life jackets can be borrowed (honor system) for the duration of your boating outing and returned as you leave the reservoir.

According to the Clearwater County Sheriff’s resources, PFD citations at Dworshak Dam and Reservoir have decreased by 25% since the installation of the first PFD loaner board.

We at Dworshak Dam and Reservoir want the public to know that with these loaner boards, PFD violations should be zero. The life jackets are there for your use. We want you to return to your families at night, safe and sound (and without a citation!).

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