One person died and another was injured when the personal watercraft they were riding went over the Dashields Dam in the Ohio River near Edgeworth. Because of this tragedy, the U.S. Coast Guard and its Auxiliary civilian volunteers urge caution to boaters and jet skiers when they approach dams.
People also need to be careful with their vessel handling during high water flows especially after rains, when conditions can change rapidly. Entering an area near a dam that was safe in low flows may put vessels at higher risk of an accident at these times.
Decreasing water temperatures at night will also limit the ability of a boat's crew and passengers to react and affect survival time, should the vessel swamp or capsize.
In addition to always wearing a life jacket, other boating safety tips from the Coast Guard include the following:
- Tell somebody where you are going and when you expect to return.
- Test your vessel and make sure that all equipment is present and operable before launching.
- Boat within your capabilities, given the conditions on the water.
- Observe all the dam's barriers, flashing lights, horns and sirens.
- Leave your motor running to provide maneuvering power.
- Stay clear of spillways; changing currents and "boiling" waves can make a vessel difficult to control.
- Never anchor a boat below a dam because water levels can change rapidly at this location.
For more information about boating safety, visit www.cgaux.org.
The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed volunteer component of the United States Coast Guard created by an Act of Congress in 1939. The Auxiliary, America's Volunteer Guardians, supports the Coast Guard in nearly all of the service’s missions except for military and direct law enforcement.