With the summer months upon us, the use of Stand-up Paddleboards (SUP) in Marina del Rey has increased significantly. Over the Fourth of July weekend, Sheriff’s Harbor Patrol deputies issued numerous warnings regarding the safety equipment requirements for SUPs.
SUPs that are being used for coastal and harbor cruising are classified as vessels by the United States Coast Guard. As vessels, SUPs are subject to vessel safety equipment requirements when being used outside of the surf zone. These regulations do not apply to SUPs being used for surfing only.
A lifejacket or personal flotation device (PFD) is required while using SUPs. The use of a leash attached to the board and operator does not fulfill this requirement. The PFD does not have to be worn by the operator, unless the operator is 12 years of age or younger. Those not required to wear a PFD shall have it onboard the SUP, and readily available to the operator. There is a PFD designed specifically for use by SUP operators known as a “Special Use Device” – Type 5. The Type 5 PFD comes in a fanny pack configuration, and can be activated by manual inflation or by using the attached CO2 cartridge. The special use PFDs are available at most surf shops that carry SUPs, as well as most marine supply stores.
SUP operators are also required to have a sound signaling device, such as a whistle, for making an efficient sound signal. If an SUP is being operated at night, between sunset and sunrise, lighting and visual distress devices must also be carried.
So remember, an SUP operated outside of 200 yards from shore, or anywhere outside of designated swim areas of the Marina del Rey Harbor is subject to citation by marine law enforcement, should these safety regulations be violated.
Be safe this summer! If you have any questions, please contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Harbor Patrol Office at Marina del Rey Sheriff’s Station at 310-482-6000.
White, Bryan L.
Marina Del Rey Station
Sent by LASD – Marina Del Rey Station, Los Angeles County Sheriff
13851 Fiji Way, Marina del Rey, CA 90292