Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer, and the Lake Improvement Association reminds everyone to be safe while having fun while out on the water.
According to the National Safe Boating Council, 81% of boating fatalities in the U.S. are caused by drowning. In Ohio in 2022, there were 17 boating fatalities, 12 of which were caused by drowning. Life jackets were properly worn in only three of the fatal incidents in 2022. You can read more about life jacket safety here.
The National Safe Boating Council and the ODNR recommend these tips for boaters:
- Wear your life jacket and make sure everyone else on your boat also wears a life jacket.
- Take a boating safety class. Gain valuable knowledge and experience in a boating safety course with many options for novice to experienced boaters. Find a safe boating course here.
- Carry all required safety gear. Inspect equipment for holes, tears, and other damage.
- File a float plan. Always let someone on shore know the trip itinerary, including information about all passengers, boat type and registration, and communication on board.
- Be aware of weather and water conditions. Always check the forecast before departing on the water.
- Boat sober and be considerate of others. Be aware of other boaters around you and designate a sober skipper.
- In case of an emergency, power boaters should use the engine cut-off device, which is a proven way to stop the boat’s engine should the operator unexpectedly fall overboard.
- Review the Ohio Boat Operator’s Guide for safety tips, navigation information, and more here.
Call 911 if there is an emergency while out on the water!
Find more information about safe boating week here.
Have a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend!