Thunder Over Louisville Boat Safety Tips

Apr 2, 2022Safety, UPCOMMING EVENTS

April 22nd, 2022

April 22nd, 2022

From: USCG Sector Ohio Valley – Louisville

LT Michael W. Metz
Waterway Management
(502) 779-5344 (desk)
(502) 715-1429 (cell)

1. Examine your Boat

Check all safety equipment before getting underway. Don’t forget to check your navigation lights; these must be displayed between sunset and sunrise. Check river conditions at

2. Don’t Drink Alcohol on the Water

According to Kentucky state code, both the drinking of alcoholic beverages and being intoxicated on a boat are prohibited, and the State of Kentucky’s jurisdiction extends across the width of the Ohio River. This law and others that prohibit drinking on the water will be strictly enforced.

3. Wear a Lifejacket

Federal law requires children under the age of 13 to wear lifejackets at all times and for every adult there must also be a lifejacket on-board and easily accessible. Remember, people float better when they wear a lifejacket.

Please be prepared for the following potentially hazardous conditions:

Strong River Currents – High water associated with melting snow and spring rains significantly increase river currents.

Debris – Debris and drift are both difficult to see, especially at night, and they can easily foul a propeller or cause severe damage to a boat.

Low Water Temperature – The average river water temperature during this event is expected to be 50° Fahrenheit. At this temperature, hypothermia can quickly occur.

Fatigue – Many boaters enjoy the event from before noon until after the fireworks display, and spending that much time on the water can both be tiring and lead to serious mistakes.

Navigable Channel: The navigable channel is from the Kentucky shoreline to the center of the river. No vessels may anchor or loiter in the channel. Anchoring is not permitted from the Big Four Bridge to Towhead Island.

No Entry Zone: At 11:00 AM, the Coast Guard will establish a “No Entry Zone” from river mile 606.8 to 602.7 (from McAlpine Lock and Dam to 200 yards up river of the Big Four Railroad Bridge). All spectator boats shall stay away from the no entry zone.

No Wake Zone: A No Wake Zone will be in effect from river mile 602.7 to 598.0.