The U.S. Coast Guard and Thunder Over Louisville Safety Coalition gathered at the Great Lawn at Waterfront Park this morning and issued safety tips for boaters coming out to enjoy Thunder Over Louisville on the Ohio River.


The goal of the Thunder Over Louisville Safety Coalition is to work together to make this a safe and successful event for the public. For many, this event marks the beginning of the recreational boating season. (The brochure attached to this email will be handed out by Coast Guard personnel Saturday, April 12th.)


Here are four important safety messages for boaters that apply to this event and the entire boating season.


1.  Wear your lifejacket. Coast Guard personnel wear life jackets whenever we operate our small boats. The public should do the same.


2.  Boating and alcohol do not mix. Operating a vessel on the water while drinking is every bit as dangerous as driving a car while under the influence and is also illegal. So please leave the alcohol at home.


3.  Check all safety equipment before getting underway. Don’t forget to check your navigation lights; these must be displayed between sunset and sunrise. In addition, be sure you have the proper type and size anchor for your vessel. Makeshift anchors may not hold on the bottom of the Ohio River.


4.  Stay alert to the vessel around you, stay away from commercial vessels, and operate with common sense and courtesy. We want everyone to have a safe, enjoyable time on the river. After the event, please plan for a slow methodical and orderly departure especially at the local boat ramps.


For more information contact Sector Ohio Valley Public Affairs Officer, LT Geoff Albe at (502) 376-1862 or visit the Coast Guard’s official Web site for safe boating at www.uscgboating.org.