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Course Outline

Sitting, Standing, or Walking on Moving Vessels: No occupant of a vessel that is underway shall sit, stand, or walk on any area not designed for that movement except when immediately necessary for safe and reasonable navigation or operation.

  • Riding on the bow, gunwales, seat backs, or the front of pontoon boats is especially dangerous because unexpected movement, large waves, or a sudden change in course could easily throw the passenger in the water.
  • Pedestal seats should not be used at speeds much more than idle speed.

Capacity Plates: No person shall operate or permit operation of a watercraft in excess of any of the stated limits on the capacity plate.

  • When no capacity plate exists, no person shall operate or permit operation of a watercraft if a reasonably prudent person would believe the total load on board or the total horsepower of any motor or engine presents a risk of physical harm to persons or property.
  • No person shall alter, remove, or deface any information on the capacity plate.

Unsafe Conditions: A law enforcement officer may determine that an unsafe condition presents an especially hazardous condition to persons aboard a vessel and may direct the operator to take immediate, reasonable actions to correct the situation. An especially hazardous condition exists if a reasonably prudent person would believe that continued operation would create a hazard to persons on board.

  • The law enforcement officer may direct the operator to return a vessel to shore until the condition is corrected or has ended. Refusal by an operator to terminate operation after being ordered to do so is a violation of the Ohio Revised Code.
  • The following situations present unsafe conditions.
    • The vessel is overloaded or overpowered.
    • There are insufficient personal flotation devices, fire extinguishers, backfire flame arrestors, ventilation systems, or navigation lights.
    • The vessel is leaking fuel or has fuel in the bilges.
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