Boaters warned about giving the right of way

By Patty Hastings, Columbian breaking news reporter

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Four boaters were cited for blocking vessel traffic along the Columbia and Willamette rivers last weekend during Operation Make Way, according to a bulletin from the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard, Clark County Sheriff’s Office and Columbia County Sheriff’s Office collaborated to keep waterways safe for larger boat traffic and to educate boaters about the dangers of blocking commercial vessels. Citations carried a $260 fine.

Rule 9 in the Navigational Rules of the Road requires recreational boaters to yield to larger vessels restricted in their ability to maneuver. The bulletin said recreational fishermen, caught up in the excitement of a day on the water, often wait too long to get out of the way of larger vessels, which is illegal and dangerous.