|Ross Walkinshaw is the chairman of the Safety Committee and the RiverWatch program.
Ross is a fixture on the river and has been a part of SRA as past president, Board member as well as participating in the volunteer program to gather water samples for testing. His knowledge and familiarity with the river make him a great asset to the association.
Ross has conducted safety classes for SRA members and keeps the board updated on other classes provided. The schedule for 2011 will be posted here soon.
RiverWatch is a program developed by the SRA Board of Directors to do just that, watch the river. SRA members are encouraged to contact Ross and sign up to take a weekend day this coming boating season and cruise the river displaying our RiverWatch banner on your boat.
These patrols are intended to keep an eye out for unsafe boating practices and contact the Sheriff’s marine patrol to report it. Patrols also are available to assist boaters in need, watching out for floating hazards and generally making the boating public aware that they are there. There are also RiverWatch signs on several docks down the river.
If you are interested in putting a sign on your dock, send us a note through our Contact Us page or call Ross Walkinshaw - 208.667.4105
Spokane River Association’s RiverWatch Program
What is RiverWatch?
RiverWatch is a safety program developed by the SRA Board of Directors in 2008. This program was created in cooperation with the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Recreation Safety Section and a partnership with SRA member volunteers. Much like the familiar “Neighborhood Watch” programs. RiverWatch is meant to inform, educate and enlist the assistance of members who witness unsafe boating practices on the river.
“Our mission is to promote river boating safe through education and observation.”
What do RiverWatch volunteers do?
To start with, volunteers sign up with Ross Walkinshaw (208)773-5555 to do a weekend day partol, which essentially is a boat ride. Your time, whether a couple of hours or a full morning or afternoon is much needed and appreciated. Ross will provide a RiverWatch banner to hang on the side of your vessel. While you enjoy your time on the river you will keep an eye out for the following conditions that can effect boating safety on the river.
- Floating hazards such as deadheads and tag or move off the waterway.
- Unsafe boating practices.
- Excessive boat speed or noise
- Dangerous proximity to other boats, shore or docks
- Unsafe bow riding and towing practices
Notify the Marine Patrol of boating safety violations witnessed. 208.446.1300
In order for the Marine Patrol to take action on these violations volunteers will need to record hull numbers of violating vessels, photos, if possible, as well as time and location. Sheriff’s may not be able to be on the scene of these violations but can follow up if they have enough information.
There are other ways RiverWatch produces positive effects for not only river property owners but the boating public as well. Remember, the waters of Idaho belong to the people, not the shoreline property owners.
- Create a visual presense on the river, displaying the RiverWatch banner, especially during peak traffic hours.
- Counting and reporting the number of boats seen helps assess waterway usage.
- Provide assistance to boaters in trouble.
- Provide information to boaters about RiverWatch and SRA, encouraging membership to river property owners.