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County considers life jacket requirement

A heightened risk to public safety has prompted King County Executive Dow Constantine, with the backing of a wide range of public safety and health officials, to call for a summer-long requirement for the wearing of life vests by anyone swimming, floating, or boating on major rivers running through unincorporated King County.

During Monday night’s King County Council meeting the proposed ordinance was sent to the Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee for consideration.

The King County Sheriff would enforce the wearing of a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device, or PFD, in the unincorporated portions of the Snoqualmie, Tolt, Cedar, Green, White, Raging and Skykomish Rivers that run outside of cities. First infractions for failure to wear a PFD would carry a warning, while subsequent infractions could result in a fine of up to $86.

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