(1) A person shall not load or permit to be loaded a vessel with passengers or cargo beyond its safe carrying ability or carry passengers or cargo in an unsafe manner taking into consideration weather and other existing operating conditions.
(2) A person shall not operate or permit to be operated a vessel equipped with a motor or other propulsion machinery of a power beyond the vessel's ability to operate safely, taking into consideration the vessel's type, use, and construction, the weather conditions, and other existing operating conditions.
(3) A violation of subsection (1) or (2) of this section is an infraction punishable as provided under chapter 7.84 RCW except as provided under RCW 79A.60.020 or where the overloading or overpowering is reasonably advisable to effect a rescue or for some similar emergency purpose.
(4) If it appears reasonably certain to any law enforcement officer that a person is operating a vessel clearly loaded or powered beyond its safe operating ability and in the judgment of that officer the operation creates an especially hazardous condition, the officer may direct the operator to take immediate and reasonable steps necessary for the safety of the individuals on board the vessel, including directing the operator to return to shore or a mooring and to remain there until the situation creating the hazard is corrected or ended. Failure to follow the direction of an officer under this subsection is a misdemeanor punishable as provided under RCW 9.92.030.
[2000 c 11 § 100; 1993 c 244 § 16. Formerly RCW 88.12.135.]
| Intent -- 1993 c 244: See note following RCW 79A.60.010.|