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Is this something they are going to start enforcing?


Active Member
I talked with the NPS rangers about enforcement while on a GRIT trip a couple years ago. There are apparently two kinds of rangers, the public relations ones (the majority), who don’t enforce but try to provide information and resolve issues on the lake. Those are the ones on the GRIT trips and most of the others you see. When there’s a real problem, they’ll bring in the enforcement rangers. There’s just not many of them covering a huge area...
that's really good to know and thank you for sharing. we aren't going to be shooting them off either way but they are fun to watch and nice to know those people are probably not getting in trouble.


We are a dry storage boat at Antelope, so we don't rent a permanent slip. That puts us on the same side of the restaurant as their rental boats. You see some interesting things go on, with people who don't know the rules, or maybe they think nobody actually enforces them.

My wife tells a story about a group loading into a shared ownership boat. As the carts brought their stuff down, they had cases of fireworks loaded right on top for everyone to see. Big aerial mortars and such. They made no attempt to hide the stuff, or did not know that they should have tried to keep it low key.

Once all their stuff was on board, the music started and the smell of marijuana smoke was detectable on the dock. It wasn't long before security visited them, followed by local law enforcement. It apparently went bad in a hurry.

Several adult males left in handcuffs over the marijuana. The boat was pulled from the water over the fireworks. Vacation cancelled. I wonder how hard it was for their shared ownership LLC to get the boat out of impound.

Hey, I've enjoyed fireworks shows off other boats in places like Padre and Last Chance. Let's face it, Park Service probably isn't going to bother sending a ranger after dark to bust up the party. Police up your debris on the beach, don't be a jerk to your neighbors, and chances are nothing will happen.

But, people do get arrested, sometimes...
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Well-Known Member
Doing stuff like that in the marina is just stupid and disrespectful.

I know of someone who had a party at the Bullfrog slips last year. Loud and obnoxious enough that the individual who was the partner on the boat got arrested. And NPS had a discussion with the managing partner of the boat about banning it from the lake.

So yes, at times actions have consequences. Even at Lake Powell.

210 FSH

Well-Known Member
So the guy that jumped on the boat was the original driver, right?

Interesting that the boat increased from 9mph to 30 mph on it’s own.

I didn’t think the driver had one of those auto inflate life jackets on - maybe it was under his coat? But it seemed to inflate and work okay.

Edit: The driver had a life vest on - it was black and hard to see.

Also: Apparently a classic case of distracted driving. He was playing with his screen and didn't see the buoy in time. The older guy was trying to signal him but at 52 mph the hand motions weren't enough (and yelling would have been futile). There was no wake the driver was dodging. Just a total self inflicted mistake.

One softsided tacklebox went overboard. I think it was floating for a while then?

He was off the boat for 11 minutes and 15 seconds based on the clock.

What is the white "slinky" in the bottom right of the screen supposed to represent?

Yes, the driver was the one that jumped back on the boat.

Quite interesting that boat picked up speed.

They almost hit the one buoy. They were going way too fast for the conditions, the driver wasn’t staying far enough ahead of the boat. Captain obvious statement.. they‘re damn lucky they didn’t get run over by their own boat.

If you watch till the end there is another linked video where a guy gets thrown out and has to dive down to keep from getting hit by his own boat.

When the guy finally gets back in his boat you can see the lanyard hanging next to the throttle.

We’ve all made mistakes and survived, all we can do is learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of others. Was reading the other day that 80% of the drownings on boats would not have happened if the occupants were wearing their PFD’s.


Well-Known Member
In my totally unscientific perspective, I'm guessing 90% of the time a driver is ejected it's from a bass boat. They go really fast. It's shallow and easy to fall out. They can lose control easily. Probably some other factors. I figure if you're in a deeper boat and not on a plane in shallower areas (I know Powell can be tricky with whales) the risk is minimal. The cost-benefit varies from boat to boat, lake to lake... but I'm sure I'll follow the rule 99% of the time because it's really not that big of a deal.


Well-Known Member
A few years ago I broke the steering cable as I was going really slow and turning the wheel to dock on houseboat at the rincon. Just a simple snap and the wheel spun free. Had I been going fast It would have been really ugly. I have no problem wearing a leash. Usually I would say live and let live, you pays your money you takes your chances. This one however can have a really negative impact on innocent bystanders. Best way to not worry about the year of your boat or the rangers watching you is just to wear the leash when on plane.



Well-Known Member
We got "safety checked" at Jordanelle Saturday, I waited for them to ask about a kill switch. When she didn't I asked if that was something on their list. The ranger said she wasn't sure and acted surprised I asked, it wasn't on their radar at all. At least for now, just FYI.


Well-Known Member
I didn't see this thread until this morning. This subject came up on BFT about a month ago and I looked into it for some answers. Here are a couple of posts I made on BFT based on what I found out.

#1 said:
Digging a little deeper (as I am prone to do), I found that there are some caveats to this new law. The first caveat is this: It only applies to operators of recreational boats less than 26’ in length that have an Engine Cut-Off Switch (ECOS) installed. And the law specifies that the ECOS is only required to be installed on covered boats that are manufactured on or after January 2020.

Caveat #2: If your boat was built prior to January 2020, and doesn't have an ECOS or it isn't working, there is no requirement for you to install one or maintain it in a working condition. But if there is an ECOS installed and it is in working order, then you are required to use it.

Caveat #3: The term "covered recreational vessel" means a recreational vessel that is (A) less than 26 feet overall in length; and (B) capable of developing 115 pounds or more of static thrust (which equates to about 3 horsepower). The term has noting to do with having any kind of top on the boat.

Caveat #4: The law does not require the use of an ECOS for any vessel equal to or greater than 26-feet in length, regardless of when the vessel was manufactured.

Caveat #5: If the boats’ primary helm is inside an enclosed cabin it is not required to have an ECOS. I'm fairly certain that a removable canvas/plastic covering that fully encloses the primary helm area doesn't meet the definition of an 'enclosed cabin.' But, please, feel free to test that for yourself. Big Grin

As mentioned above, enforcement will be problematic. In a lot of boats, the gunnels are high enough that the ECOS cannot be observed from outside the boat, and when the boat is not on plane (as when pulled over by an LEO) it can be detached. So there really isn't any way an LEO would know if the ECOS was attached to you or not with the boat on plane and you detached it after you cut the engine speed to wakeless at the command of the LEO.

If you want to verify all of the above, you can find all this information at this link: ENGINE/PROPULSION CUT-OFF DEVICES FAQ

I also contacted the Utah Parks & Rec LE Department for their take on the new Federal requirement and what enforcement impact it will have in Utah. Here is what I was told.

#2 said:
Here is some further information for your consideration. I had a very pleasant conversation with an LE Professional from the Utah Parks & Recreations Law Enforcement Division about this ‘New’ Federal requirement that became law on Dec 4, 2018 but didn’t become effective until Dec 4, 2019. Utah LEOs have no requirement or authorization to enforce Federal regulations unless and/or until the Federal Law requirements are passed into law at the Utah State level. In the case of the Emergency Cut-off Switch (ECOS) requirement, this has not happened yet in Utah. And the Utah Legislature for 2021 has shut-down for normal business, so the ECOS will not be addressed until at least 2022 – if at all.

According to my source, the issues supposedly addressed by making the ECOS mandatory are exceedingly rare in Utah and very low on a priority list of safety issues needing attention or a new regulation making it mandatory. Much more common issues are failure to wear flotation devices when necessary (resulting in death by drowning) and DUIs.

Where you MIGHT encounter some enforcement because of a possible Federal LEO presence is on the three interstate bodies of water Lake Powell, Flaming Gorge, and Bear Lake with Lake Powell having a higher probability of enforcement presence due to a much higher level of boater recreation than the other two.

Bottom line (in my opinion) is there is little or no chance that this Federal law will impact your daily activities when participating in any boating recreation. Use the ECOS function, don’t use it; let your conscious/common sense be your guide. Utah LEO personnel could care less at this time as there is no state requirement making it mandatory to use it.

As to Lake Powell, their will be no interest or enforcement from any Utah LEO presence there. I won't speculate as to what a Federal LEO at Lake Powell might might do with regard to the new ECOS requirements. I don't even know if there IS a Federal LEO presence at Lake Powell patrolling the waters. I would say that it will be very rare for anybody to ever get a citation for violating this requirement on Lake Powell.