Kirkland Municipal Code 14.20.010 indicates that swimming shall be confined:
(1) To restricted swimming areas; or
(2) To within fifty feet from the shore or a pier unless the swimmer is accompanied by a watercraft. (Ord. 800 § 20, 1960)
Beyond 50 feet from shore, the King County Code requires the swimmer to be accompanied by a boat which is within 25 feet of the swimmer.
To maintain a clearly defined swimming beach, lifeguards discourage swimming immediately outside the lifeguarded area. In the interest of public safety, there is need to maintain a defined perimeter buffer of 150 feet from the swimming areas on Lake Washington.
Kirkland Aquatic Service Beach Guards are instructed to educate “offshore swimmers” of the following:
Swimming within 50 feet of shore is consistent with the law.
Wading or swimming at a distance away from the swimming beach could have an impact on the operation of the lifeguarded area as any reasonable persons [lifeguard] attention could be drawn away from their area of coverage due to your presence in the water outside of the swimming area. For your safety, we strongly encourage you to remain within the designated swimming area. [Note: if the swimmer is beyond 25 feet of shore- approaching 50 feet and is not accompanied by a boat within 25 feet, guards should inform the swimmer that they will be contacting King County Marine Patrol.
The lifeguarded swimming beaches offer maintained bottom conditions, are free of aquatic weeds, and do not have boat traffic, all of which are possible concerns in other parts of the parks.
Lifeguards do not want to push open water swimmers out into boating traffic; they will allow swimmers to pass through the beach area if necessary but will talk with them about the boundaries of the lifeguarded swimming beach and remind them about the 50 feet rule.