Chapter 10.04


10.04.010    Short Title

10.04.020    Authorization - Waters Defined

10.04.030    Application - Provisions Supplemental

10.04.040    Definitions

10.04.050    Public Employees - Compliance Required

10.04.060    Application of Water Safety and Watercraft Code - Exemptions

10.04.070    Public Health

10.04.080    Liability for Damages

10.04.090    Adoption of Statutes by Reference

10.04.010 Short Title.

This title shall constitute the “Water Safety and Watercraft” code of the City and may be cited as such. (Ord. 1157, Sec. 1, 2023; Ord. 881, Sec. 2, 2013)

10.04.020 Authorization - Waters Defined.

(a)    The City, in the exercise of its police authority, assumes control and jurisdiction over all waters within its limits.

(b)    As authorized by RCW 35A.21.090, the powers and jurisdiction of the City with boundaries adjacent to or fronting on any lake, or other navigable waters, shall extend into and over such waters and over any tidelands intervening between any such boundary and any such waters to the middle of such lake or other waters in every manner and for every purpose that such authority and jurisdiction could be exercised if the waters were within the City limits. (Ord. 1157, Sec. 1, 2023; Ord. 881, Sec. 2, 2013)

10.04.030 Application - Provisions Supplemental.

The provisions of this title shall be applicable to all vessels and watercraft operating in the waters of the City. The provisions of this title shall be construed to supplement United States laws and State laws and regulations when not expressly inconsistent therewith in the waters where such United States and State laws and regulations are applicable. (Ord. 1157, Sec. 1, 2023; Ord. 881, Sec. 2, 2013)

10.04.040 Definitions.

For the purpose of this title:

“Anchorage” means a designated position where vessels or watercraft may anchor or moor.

“Aquatic event” means any organized water event of limited duration which is duly sanctioned by duly constituted authority and which is conducted according to a prearranged schedule and in which general public interest is manifested.

“Authorized emergency vessel” means any authorized vessel or watercraft of the Lake Stevens Police Department, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department, Lake Stevens Fire, the United States government, and State and authorized patrol vessels, fire rescue boats or watercraft.

“Commission” means the State Parks and Recreation Commission.

“Cove” means that area of Lake Stevens set forth in the figure below including swim beach on northern shore:

“Darkness” means that period between sunset and sunrise.

“Diver’s flag” means a red flag, five units of measurement on the hoist by five units of measurement on the fly with a white stripe of one unit crossing the red diagonally, the flag to have a stiffener to make it stand out from a pole or mast. This flag shall only pertain to skindiving and SCUBA (self-contained underwater breathing apparatus) diving and shall supplement any nationally recognized diver’s flag or marking. A unit of measurement shall not be less than two inches.

“Idling speed” means that speed of any motorboat while underway when its propulsion machinery is set at the machine’s lowest possible speed.

“Motor driven boats and vessels” means all boats and vessels which are self propelled.

“Muffler” or “muffler system” means a sound suppression device or system, including an underwater exhaust system, designed and installed to abate the sound of exhaust gases emitted from an internal combustion engine and that prevents excessive or unusual noise.

“Observer” means the individual riding in a vessel who is responsible for observing a water skier at all times.

“Obstruction” means any vessel or watercraft or any matter which may in any way blockade, interfere with or endanger any vessel or watercraft or impede navigation.

“Oil” means any oil or liquid, whether of animal, vegetable, mineral or chemical origin, or a mixture, compound or distillation thereof.

“Operate” means to steer, direct, or otherwise have physical control of a vessel that is underway.

“Operator” means an individual who steers, directs, or otherwise has physical control of a vessel that is underway or exercises actual authority to control the person at the helm.

“Owner” means a person who has a lawful right to possession of a vessel by purchase, exchange, gift, lease, inheritance, or legal action whether or not the vessel is subject to a security interest.

“Personal flotation device” means a buoyancy device, life preserver, buoyant vest, ring buoy, or buoy cushion that is designed to float a person in the water and that is approved by the U.S. Coast Guard.

“Personal watercraft” means a vessel of less than 16 feet that uses a motor powering a water jet pump as its primary source of motive power and that is designed to be operated by a person sitting, standing, or kneeling on, or being towed behind, the vessel, rather than in the conventional manner of sitting or standing inside the vessel.

“Pier” means any pier, wharf, dock, flat, gridiron or other structure which promotes the convenient loading or unloading or other discharge from vessels or watercraft, or the repair thereof.

“Reckless” or “recklessly” means acting carelessly and heedlessly in a willful and wanton disregard of the rights, safety, or property of another.

“Restricted area” means an area that is closed to all water traffic or where water traffic is regulated for the health, safety and welfare of the public.

“Safety marker” means a floating marker buoy owned by the City of Lake Stevens and anchored to the lake bottom, delineating an area from the shoreline waterward to the marker where vessels must not travel at a speed greater than idling speed or eight miles per hour, whichever is the lesser.

“Towboat” means any vessel or watercraft engaged in towing or pushing another vessel or watercraft.

“Underway” means that a vessel is not at anchor, or made fast to the shore, or aground.

“Vessel” includes every description of watercraft on the water, other than a seaplane, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on the water. However, it does not include inner tubes, air mattresses, and small rafts or flotation devices or toys customarily used by swimmers.

“Wake” means more than a six-inch swell in the water created by the movement of any watercraft.

“Water skiing” means the physical act of being propelled or towed behind a vessel on, but not limited to, any skis, aquaplane, kneeboard, tube, or any other similar device. (Ord. 1157, Sec. 1, 2023; Ord. 1042, Sec. 1, 2018; Ord. 881, Sec. 2, 2013; Ord. 543, 1997; Ord. 453, 1994)

10.04.050 Public Employees - Compliance Required.

The provisions of this title shall apply to the operator of any vessel or watercraft owned by or used in the service of the United States government or of this state, or of any political subdivision thereof. (Ord. 1157, Sec. 1, 2023; Ord. 881, Sec. 2, 2013)

10.04.060 Application of Water Safety and Watercraft Code - Exemptions.

The provisions of this title shall be applicable to the operation of any and all vessels or watercraft in the waters of the City, except that they shall not apply to any authorized emergency vessel or watercraft actually responding to an emergency call or in immediate pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law; provided, that the provisions of this section shall not relieve the operator of an authorized emergency vessel or watercraft of the duty to operate with due regard for the safety of all persons using the waters of the City. (Ord. 1157, Sec. 1, 2023; Ord. 881, Sec. 2, 2013)

10.04.070 Public Health.

All watercraft and vessels entering the waters of the City shall comply with the applicable public health laws and regulations of the United States, the State, and its political subdivisions. (Ord. 1157, Sec. 1, 2023; Ord. 881, Sec. 2, 2013)

10.04.080 Liability for Damages.

Nothing in this title shall be construed so as to release any person owning or controlling any vessel, watercraft, pier, obstruction or other structure from any liability for damages. The safeguards to life and property required in this title shall not be construed as relieving any person from installing and maintaining any other safeguards which may be required by law. (Ord. 1157, Sec. 1, 2023; Ord. 881, Sec. 2, 2013)

10.04.090 Adoption of Statutes by Reference.

The City of Lake Stevens hereby adopts and incorporates by reference the following sections of the Revised Code of Washington as presently enacted and as may be subsequently amended:

RCW 79A.60.020

Violations of chapter punishable as misdemeanor - Circumstances - Violations designated as civil infractions

RCW 79A.60.030

Operation of vessel in a negligent manner - Penalty

RCW 79A.60.040

Operation of vessel in a reckless manner - Penalty

RCW 79A.60.080

Failure to stop for lawenforcement officer

RCW 79A.60.100

Enforcement - Chapter to supplement federal law

RCW 79A.60.110

Equipment standards - Rules - Penalty

RCW 79A.60.120

Tampering with vessel lights or signals - Exhibiting false lights or signal - Penalty

RCW 79A.60.130

Muffler or underwater exhaust system required - Exemptions - Enforcement - Penalty

RCW 79A.60.140

Personal flotation devices - Inspection and approval - Rules

RCW 79A.60.150

Failure of vessel to contain required equipment - Liability of operation or owner - Penalty

RCW 79A.60.160

Personal flotation devices required - Penalty

RCW 79A.60.170

Water skiing safety - Requirements

RCW 79A.60.180

Loading or powering vessel beyond safe operating ability - Penalties

RCW 79A.60.190

Operation of personal watercraft - Prohibited activities - Penalties

RCW 79A.60.200

Duty of operator involved in collision, accident, or other casualty - Immunity from liability of persons rendering assistance - Penalty

RCW 79A.60.210

Casualty and accident reports - Confidentiality - Use as evidence

RCW 79A.60.220

Boating accident reports by local government agencies - Investigation - Report of coroner

RCW 79A.60.230

Vessels adrift - Owner to be notified

RCW 79A.60.500

Uniform waterway marking system

RCW 88.02.550

Registration and display of registration number and decal required - Penalty - Exemptions

RCW 88.02.790

Vessel dealer display decals - Use

(Ord. 1157, Sec. 1, 2023; Ord. 881, Sec. 2, 2013)