Boating season kicks off Saturday

Boating season kicks off Saturday
Boating season officially kicks off Saturday, and with the good weather, expect hundreds out on the water.

Crew teams from around the country are prepping for this year's Windermere Cup through the Montlake cut, while boaters are already tied and anchored to the log boom in Union Bay ready to party.

But there are a couple of warnings this year - number one is that the state is cracking down on boating under the influence.

There's a bill on the governor's desk to be signed that would enhance the penalty for boating under the influence.

Wade Alonzo with Washington State Parks warns starting this summer if you drink and boat you'll now face a gross misdemeanor with a larger fine of $5,000 dollars and more jail time - up to one year behind bars.

Deputies, police and Washington State Parks employees also warn that it's cold down there in the water and to wear your lifejackets.

Water rescue experts say with all the snow melt we've had - in rivers and here in the bays and lakes it can take only seconds for a person's arms and legs to stiffen-up and for hyperventilating to get out of control.

"No matter how good a swimmer you think you are - you could drown from the cold water shock and immersion," King County Sheriff's spokeswoman Cindi West said.

"Somebody gets into trouble on the water everybody helps out - that's how the community is," said Shawn Otorowski with the Seattle Yacht Club. "It's everyone getting together, it's the camaraderie, it's family time."

With warm temperatures and plenty of sun in the forecast- it should be a great time.