Boating Safely in High Water Levels

by Katie Jeffries on March 19, 2010 at 5:58 am

With the nice weather Saturday, you may be thinking about taking your boat out on the water.

With the high water levels from rain and melted snow there are a few hazards you need to be aware of.

"There is going to be a lot of current, it is going to be swift and that is the most underestimated hazard out there.  People don’t realize the strength and what not. Make sure you tell someone where you are going boating and when you will be back and in case you don’t come back have them contact the sheriff’s office or an emergency contact number," tells Officer Jason Plumly with the ODNR Division of Watercraft.

Officer Plumly says there were eight fatalities last year.  Most were due to a person falling overboard and not wearing a life jacket. He says even if you are on a lake you need to wear a life jacket because the water is still very cold and people can turn hypothermic quickly. If you are boating on the river be aware of the low head dams and floating debris.

"If you have someone on the boat that can look out for stuff like that, that is great. Have a proper look out and be aware and approach at a small speed so you don’t hit that sort of thing," says Officer Plumly.

Officer Plumly will be teaching a boating safety class Saturday at the Washington Township Fire Department from 8 a.m-5 p.m.  If you want to attend, call the division of watercraft at (740) 439- 4076.


Katie Jeffries