The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is offering free boat safety inspections during May and June at public boat launch ramps and during special events statewide. The agency also released a new promotional video about safety boating.
“Start the boating season safe,” said Rodger Norcross, chief of the ODNR Division of Watercraft. “We encourage boaters to take advantage of a free safety inspection to ensure they have all the necessary boating safety equipment on board and it is in working order.”
The free boat safety inspections help increase boating safety awareness at a time when many Ohioans are launching their boats for the first time in a new boating and fishing season.
ODNR Division of Watercraft officers provide written courtesy inspections that allow boat owners to make recommended improvements to their boating safety equipment. These free inspections typically examine the condition of fire extinguishers, navigational lights, horns and distress signals to ensure they are in working order. Officers also check to make sure that the proper type, size and number of life jackets are aboard each boat as required by law to ensure the safety of all boat occupants.
Information on locations, dates and times for upcoming vessel safety inspections is available at: http://watercraft.ohiodnr.gov/events. Additional information is also available online regarding required boating safety equipment, education programs, boating rules and public launch ramps at http://watercraft.ohiodnr.gov/ and by calling toll-free at 877-4BOATER.
Eleven people who died in boating accidents in Ohio in 2012 were not wearing their life jackets. Boat safe and boat smart, and always wear a life jacket.