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US Politician Challenges SUP Regulations

Dana Rohrabacher is the U.S. Representative for California's 46th congressional district, but also a water sports enthusiast. The politician has recently sent an official letter to the U.S. Coast Guard, requesting for a timely determination to be issued by the Commandant in order to allow state and local governments to treat paddle board the same as sailboards and windsurfing boards regarding the PFD (Personal Floatation Device) rules.

The following info has been released by the office of Dana Rohrabacher:
“I request that you take appropriate action to ensure federal regulation of stand-up paddle boards (SUPs) in navigable waters reflects common sense and serves the best interests of the United States Coast Guard as well as the public using our waterways. We do not want the brave men and women who protect and serve along our coastline distracted by boating safety duties that are non-essential. Enforcing life-preserver rules for people on SUPs is not on only non-essential, it is nonsense.

In the surf break, wave riding devices are subject to local rules made by local officials accountable to the local community and the customs and protocols established by the waver rider community should also play a role. Promoting uniform enforcement of federal and local boating and water safety rules benefit all who depend on the waters for their livelihood and recreation.

As a surfer, I am convinced that restraint of federal power, in favor of local rules, brings about the best result. Let’s not let an overzealous federal regulatory impulse create disarray in uniform water safety enforcement policy that has worked well for over 30 years.”

The U.S. Representative has not received an answer to his letter from the Coast Guard so far.