Boating rule extended to Lake Sammamish
May 17, 2014
New: May 17, 10:14 a.m.
People driving a motorized boat on Lake Sammamish cannot come within 50 feet of a swimmer under new rules unanimously approved May 6 by the Sammamish City Council.
The rule had been in place at Pine and Beaver lakes, but Lake Sammamish had previously been left out. The city decided to close that loophole.
Councilwoman Nancy Whitten asked if the rule should regulate speed, rather than distance.
Sammamish Parks Director Jessi Bon said the police who patrol waters prefer distance, as it is an easier thing to measure on the water.
“King County Marine Patrol said definitively they prefer 50 feet,” Bon said.
Bellevue has a different regulation, simply calling for boaters to be cautious without spelling out the distance, and the city considered adopting something similar, but ultimately decided to leave the rule at 50 feet, which is generally the standard in other water bodies in the county.
The regulation specifically states that water skiing, and similar types of activities involving towed flotation devices, are still permitted.