The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Marina del Rey Station will be conducting a joint operation with the U.S. Coast Guard Saturday and Sunday, August 11th and 12th, targeting enforcement of the Marina harbor’s “excessive wake and speed” ordinance.

A wake is described as the wave that a vessel makes as it moves through the water. All vessels moving through the water make some form of a wake, sheriff’s officials said.

The Marina Sheriff’s Station is constantly receiving complaints regarding vessels operating inside the harbor with an excessive wake, according to a sheriff’s department spokesman.

Many of those vessels are warned of their excessive wake directly by Marina sheriff’s deputies on the loud speaker as the boats enter the main channel at the Sheriff’s Harbor Patrol docks.

In an effort to thwart the problem and get the message out to boaters, Marina sheriff’s officials say they will adopt “zero tolerance” for wake violations the weekend of August 11th and 12th.

In the inner harbor of the Marina main channel, where all the boat slips are located, an excessive wake would be a wake that causes other vessels to rock, officials said.

If vessels followed the five-knot speed limit in the main channel, most of the wake problems would be solved, sheriff’s officials said.

Some vessels, even at five knots, can create an excessive wake and must reduce speed until their wake does not disturb other vessels, according to the department.

In the outer harbor of the Marina entrance channel, the speed limit is eight knots. A vessel’s wake can be excessive in the entrance channel when passing smaller vessels, causing them to rock violently and possibly turn over, lose passengers over the side or change their course suddenly toward another vessel, officials said.

Most vessels at eight knots produce a wake that would be excessive in the inner harbor, according to Sheriff’s Harbor Operations. The wake problem arises when boaters maintain this speed as they cross over into the five-knot zone of the main channel, mostly due to inattention or lack of knowledge, sheriff’s officials said.

All boaters are responsible for their wake and any damage it may cause, according to the Sheriff’s Department Harbor Operations.

Information, (310) 482-6033.

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