WATERCRAFT PATROLS RESUME INSPECTIONS TO ENSURE BOATER SAFETY|
COLUMBUS, OH - Early season patrols by state watercraft officers
will largely focus on boat safety inspections at public launch ramps,
according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). The
inspections will ensure that boats are properly loaded and equipped, and
that they are registered with the ODNR Division of Watercraft.
Watercraft officers have conducted some limited on-water patrols
since late February and are increasing their activities on the water as more
boaters become active in early spring fishing and other recreational
In 2003, watercraft officers logged a record 7,067 patrol hours at
Ohio's public boat ramps, a significant increase from the 5,242 ramp
inspection hours recorded in 2002.
Improperly loaded boats can lead to the number one cause of fatal
boating accidents - capsizing and swamping - and is the focus of ODNR's
"Operation Overboard" boating safety awareness campaign now underway.
In 2003, the division also produced a record of 31,225 on-water
patrol hours among its 56 commissioned field office