Coast Guard to Establish Safety Zone for Riverfest 2017

Children watch a fireworks display at the Independence Day celebration July 4, 2014, Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. There were approximately 400 Airmen and family members in attendance at the event which was coordinated by the 39th Force Support Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Nicole SikorskiChildren watch a fireworks display at an Independence Day celebration. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Nicole Sikorski/Released)Released)Cincinnati, OH — Labor Day weekend is September 2-4th, and is one of the busiest recreational boating weekends of the year. The Ohio River is no exception, with approximately 2,000 expected boaters in the Cincinnati area alone and the annual Riverfest being celebrated on Sunday, September 3th. With increased activity on the river, there is an increase with potential safety hazards.

The Coast Guard will be enforcing a no-wake zone and designated anchorage areas for spectators to view fireworks. There will also be a safety zone for the fireworks display that will result in a temporary river closure for all vessel traffic.

The no-wake zone will be enforced from 12 p.m. Sunday to 3 a.m. Monday. Vessels transiting between mile marker 476 to mile marker 464 on the Ohio River and mile marker 0.0 to mile marker 0.3 on the Licking River shall operate at a no-wake speed and may only stop or anchor in one of three designated anchorage areas.

Anchorage 1: Ohio River at mile marker 470.5 to 470.7 and 300 feet from shore on the Kentucky shoreline.

Anchorage 2: Ohio River at mile marker 469.6 to 469.2 and 300 feet from shore on the Ohio shoreline.

Anchorage 3: Ohio River at mile marker 469.6 to 469.2 and 300 feet from shore on the Kentucky shoreline.

The river closure will be in effect from mile marker 469.2 to mile marker 470.5 on the Ohio River from 7 p.m. on Sunday until the end of the fireworks display. Entry into, transit within, or anchoring in the zone is prohibited by all vessels unless specifically authorized by the on-scene Coast Guard patrol commander (PATCOM).

The U.S. Coast Guard “PATCOM” may be reached on channel 16 VHF-FM between 11:00 a.m. and midnight the day of Riverfest. Listen to Marine Channel 16 and 22A VHF-FM for river closure and opening announcements. Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies will be patrolling the river and enforcing the no wake zone, river closure, and federal, state, and local laws.

Safety tips for all spectators:

  • Laser pointers will not be allowed in or around Riverfest festivities. Laser pointers are a hazard to pilots and operators due to potential eye injury, temporary flash blindness, windshield/window glare that is hard to see past and distraction from navigation. NEVER aim a laser beam at an aircraft, a vehicle, law enforcement personnel or towards strangers.

Safety tips for boaters:

  • Never boat under the influence. Alcohol is the leading contributing factor of all fatal boating accidents. It is against the law for anyone to operate a vessel on the water under the influence of alcohol. Consumption of alcohol by anyone else aboard is strongly discouraged.
  • Always wear a life jacket. A life jacket is required for each person aboard a vessel, sized accordingly and easily accessible. Children younger than 13 years old are required to wear a life jacket at all times.
  • Carry a VHF-FM marine radio. Boaters should have an operational marine VHF radio on their boat in order to contact the Coast Guard in the event of an emergency. In lieu of a VHF-FM marine radio, a fully charged cell phone is recommended. In the event of an emergency the Coast Guard can be reached on VHF-FM 16 or at 800-253-7465.
  • Have a Vessel Safety Check. The Coast Guard Auxiliary offers free vessel safety checks and can be reached at cgaux.org. A vessel safety check is a great way to learn about potential violations of state and federal requirements. Boaters should be aware of, and obey, all federal and state regulations for recreational boating and navigation. For more boating information, go to http://www.uscgboating.org/

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