BOATERS REMINDED TO STAY ALERT ON UPCOMING HOLIDAY WEEKEND|
COLUMBUS, OH - With the July Fourth weekend expected to bring a record number of boaters to Ohio waterways, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) urges increased alertness and safety while on the water.
“This is a peak period for recreational boating and fishing activities, which means that boaters need to remain alert to safety issues,” said Ken Alvey, chief of the ODNR Division of Watercraft. “Boaters also need to stay sober, stay alert and regard safety on the water as their highest priority.”
Boaters are included in the state’s drunk-driving law that was revised last year. The current blood alcohol limit by which a motorist or boat operator may be considered legally intoxicated is 0.08 percent. Last year, state watercraft officers issued 88 drunk-driving citations to boaters.
Alcohol impairs judgment, balance, physical coordination and the ability to think clearly - all of which are important to boating safely. The effects of alcohol can be amplified on the water by sun glare and warm temperatures. In addition, boat operators need to take responsibility for the passengers riding in their vessels and the alcohol those passengers consume.
The Division of Watercraft suggests these tips to boaters for the upcoming holiday weekend:
· Always wear a life jacket and stay alert of all boating activities going on around you (personal watercraft, skiers, tubers, anglers, etc.)
· Observe all hazard markers and buoys, no-wake zones and launch ramp and dock protocols. Remember that sailboats, canoes and rowboats have the right-of-way over powerboats, except when a non-powered craft is passing.
· Use extra caution after dark and wear a lifejacket. A fall overboard is frightening enough in daylight, but darkness can further disorient a victim.
· Insist on a sober skipper and a safe crew. Alcohol and boating do not mix. Wave action, motor noise and sun glare heighten the effects of alcohol.