ODNR to "Blow the Whistle" for Safe Boating Practices over July 4th Weekend as Part of Three-Day "Buckle Up" Campaign
June 24, 1997
COLUMBUS, OH -- It won't be only lawbreakers who hear an officer's whistle this 4th of July weekend. Enforcing safe-boating practices on Ohio's waterways July 4-6, state watercraft officers will "blow the whistle" for those who practice safe boating practices and wear lifejackets.
As part of a special "Buckle Up" campaign this holiday weekend, officers with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Watercraft will give an official Splash Test DummiesTM whistle to each boater seen wearing the proper life jacket. The whistles are ideal sound-signaling devices which make an ideal accessory for a life jacket.
According to Division of Watercraft Chief Jeff Hoedt, wearing a life jacket is essential because, contrary to popular belief, most boating accidents are not fiery collisions. Most accidents occur when someone falls overboard or capsizes their boat. In fact, even experienced swimmers lose coordination and drown. Cold water and boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs can also be factors in drownings.
Coordinated by the Division of Watercraft, the Splash Test Dummies are a boating safety parody of the those familiar "Crash Test Dummies." "Splish" and "Splash" have made several appearances at boating safety events nationwide and recently starred in a risk management video available through the Ohio Division of Watercraft.
Hoedt noted that the campaign is an effort to get boaters to be proactive in boating safety. "When boaters find themselves in the water unexpectedly, in most cases it is too late to consider putting on a life jacket," said Hoedt.
The "Buckle Up" campaign will provide whistles to any boater wearing a life jacket. Personal watercraft users, water skiers and children on boats less than 18 feet are all required to wear a life jacket while out on Ohio's waterways.
For further information contact Dennis Evans, Division of Watercraft, (614) 265-6695, or Jim Lynch, ODNR Media Relations, (614) 265-6886.