DELAWARE, Ohio (WCMH) — This week, two separate bodies were pulled from the water at Alum Creek State Park, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is taking steps to increase security and safety this weekend.
With the weekend’s warm temperatures, many people were out and enjoying the water at the park, and ODNR is taking the opportunity to reiterate boat and water safety for all visitors.
“We are just continuous, so we are available to do vessel safety inspections for a boat 24/7,” said ODNR Officer Lt. Dawn Powell.
According to Powell, each watercraft, no matter how big or small, needs to be fitted with the proper safety gear, and those who are on the water, she said they need to be wearing a lifejacket.
“If you’re renting from the marina here, and there is a type of boat you are on that requires it, you have to have it on your entire rental,” Powell said. “The entire time. And if you have a personal boat out here, and that specific vessel requires or boat requires that equipment, and requires you to be wearing it, you need to be wearing it.”
She added that the life jacket should be readily available on the vessel and not hidden or tucked away.
“Understand that, on land, it’s just an inspection, but once you go out there, if you’re missing some equipment, it could be a citation that could result in fines which we don’t want,” Powell said. “We would rather educate because that goes a long way.”
And for swimmers, don’t assume being in the lake is the same as a clear pool.
“In a lake, though, you don’t have that,” Powell said. “Sometimes the water is a little murky. It’s not easy to see and the depths fluctuate.”
ODNR is also reminding boaters to pay close attention to local conditions and advisories at the marina.
For a list of ODNR’s safety tips and guidance, click here.