Stay safe over the holiday weekend while on the water

Team Radio Marketing Group - June 30, 2017 3:09 pm

The fourth of July is a busy time at Lake Ponca. The fireworks will begin at approximately 9:50 p.m., but the boating, jet skis and picnics will be going on all day. The Ponca City Police Department will have an increased presence both on the water and in the surrounding area.

If you plan to launch a boat, please ensure you are up-to-date with boating safety regulations.

Also, please remember the following operator age and boater education requirements apply to vessels on Oklahoma public waters:

  • A child under 12 years of age may not operate a vessel powered by a motor or combination of motors over 10 horsepower, a personal watercraft, or a sail-powered vessel 16 feet or more in length.
  • A child 12 to 15 years of age may operate a vessel powered by a motor or combination of motors over 10 horsepower, a personal watercraft, or sail-powered vessel 16 feet or more in length only if all of the following conditions are met.
    • He or she has successfully completed an approved boating safety education course or passed a proctored equivalency examination and has received a Boating Safety Education Certificate and ..
    • He or she is supervised by a competent person who is at least 18 years of age.
      • If the vessel is other than a personal watercraft: The supervising person must be on board and in a position to take immediate control of the vessel.
      • If the vessel is a personal watercraft: The person must supervise visually within 500 yards of the personal watercraft.
  • All vessel operators must carry on board one of the following:
    • An original Boating Safety Education Certificate as proof the operator meets the education requirements or …
    • A photo ID that shows the operator is 16 years or older.
  • These operators are exempt from the Oklahoma boater education requirements:
    • Non-residents who have successfully completed another state’s boating safety education course or equivalency examination that is approved by the Department of Public Safety
    • Children who are operating a personal watercraft in a “no wake” zone while under the supervision of an adult.

When preparing to go out on a vessel, the operator must check that the legally required equipment is on board.

Personal Floatation Devices

  • All vessels must carry one wearable (Type I, II, III or V) US Coast Guard approved PFD for each person on board.
  • In addition to the above requirement, vessels 16 feet in length or longer must have one Type IV US Coast Guard approved PFD on board and readily accessible.
  • Children under 13 years of age must wear an approved PFD whenever underway on a vessel less than 26 feet in length.
  • Each person on a personal watercraft or sailboard must wean an approved PFD.
  • Anyone being towed on water skis or similar devices must wear an approved PFD. Ski belts are not approved PFDs.
  • Besides being USCG-approved, all PFDs must be:
    • In good and serviceable condition.
    • Readily accessible. Readily accessible means you must be able to put the PCD on in a reasonable amount of time in an emergency. PFDs should not be stowed in plastic bags or in locked compartments, and they should not have other gear stowed on top of them.
    • Of the proper size for the intended wearer. Sizing is based on body weight and chest size.

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