COLUMBUS, OH – As Ohioans prepare for the summer boating season, which traditionally begins Memorial Day weekend, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is reminding all recreational boaters of the importance in properly wearing an approved life jacket or vest while boating.
“Four people died this year in boating-related accidents—none of them were wearing a life jacket,” said Pamela Dillon, chief, ODNR Division of Watercraft. “We believe that a good boating experience is a safe one and boating safety begins with the choices boaters make before leaving the dock, such as wearing an approved life jacket.”
In observance of National Safe Boating Week, which runs May 22-28, the Division of Watercraft kicks off its third “ Wear It Ohio!” summer life jacket awareness campaign at Alum Creek, East Fork, Caesar Creek Lake and Portage Lakes state parks. The campaign includes special promotional events at each of the four lakes, from May 22 through July 25, focusing on a life jacket loaner program. Eligible participants may qualify to receive, on loan, free use of a new U.S. Coast Guard approved inflatable life vest during the 2010 boating season.
In addition, state and local marine patrol officers will conduct free vessel safety inspections this weekend at various public boat launch ramps statewide. The free courtesy inspections are offered to ensure that boaters have the required safety equipment on board their boats and that it is in good working condition.
As National Safe Boating Week concludes during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, the Division of Watercraft will launch its statewide boating safety awareness public service message campaign to remind boaters of the importance of wearing a life jacket and staying sober while boating. Boating safety messages will be broadcast each weekend during the summer on more than 40 radio stations and several cable TV systems.
“We have seen a 33 percent decline in boating-related fatalities on Ohio waterways over the past decade as more boaters become aware of the importance of boating safety,” said Chief Dillon.
A complete listing of “Wear It Ohio!” events, as well as information on boating safety programs, tips and where to enjoy boating, may be found atwww.ohiodnr.com/watercraft.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at www.ohiodnr.com
(Editor’s Note – A complete listing of Wear It Ohio! events follows below.)
Alum Creek Lake State Park – Delaware County
- May 22, Hollenback Ramp, 11am-3pm
- May 30, New Galena Ramp, 11am-3pm
- June 20, Cheshire Ramp, 11am-3pm
- June 26, Hollenback Ramp, 11am-3pm
- July 10, New Galena Ramp, 11am-3pm
- July 24, Cheshire Ramp, 11am-3pm
Caesar Creek State Park – Warren County
- May 22, Wellman Meadow Ramp, 9am–1pm
- May 30, North Pool Ramp, 9am–1pm
- June 6, Furnas Shores Ramp, Noon-4pm
- June 19, “Beach/Lake Fest” at the Beach, Noon–4pm
- July 17, Wellman Meadow Ramp, 10am-2pm
- July 25, North Pool Ramp, 10am-2pm
East Fork Lake – Clermont County
- May 22, Tate Ramp,11am-3pm
- May 23, Tate Ramp, 11am-3pm
- June 12, Tate Ramp, 11am-3pm
- June 13, Tate Ramp, 11am-3pm
- July 10, Tate Ramp, 11am-3pm
- July 11, Tate Ramp, 11am-3pm
Portage Lakes State Park – Summit County
- May 22, Manchester Road Ramp, 10am-2pm
- June 5, State Park Drive Ramp, 10am-2pm
- June 13, State Park Drive Ramp, 10am-2pm
- June 27, Manchester Road Ramp, 10am-2pm
- July 10, On the water from a pontoon boat, 1-5pm
- July 11, Demo Day on the Beach, Noon-4pm– Try out different types of powerboats, PWC, canoes and kayaks. Pontoon boat rides also available.