Boating

 

NEW THIS YEAR

 

The maximum length for pontoon boats on Guist Creek Lake in Shelby County is now extended to 24 feet from 22 feet in length.

 

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BOATING REGULATIONS

 

INTRODUCTION

This publication provides basic information for most boaters and answers the most commonly asked questions. However, it is not all inclusive. For further information, please contact the Division of Law Enforcement, #1 Sportsman’s Lane, Frankfort, KY 40601 or call 1-800-858-1549.

For emergencies, officers may be contacted by dialing 1-800-252-5378, or local law enforcement agency or through the nearest Kentucky State Police post. One may use marine channel 16 to contact a local marina.

 

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REGISTRATION

  

(301 KAR 6:001, 6:010)

All mechanically powered vessels used primarily in this state must have a Kentucky registration. Boats are registered at the county clerk’s office. Persons may register in the county of their residence or the county of principal use. Boat registrations expire April 30 each year.

Boats registered in other states may be used for up to 60 consecutive days in Kentucky without registering here.

All boats operated in Kentucky must have the registration certificate on board. Boats that are rented from a marina or boat livery must have a lease agreement on board.

BOAT REGISTRATION FEES
Class A Vessels(less than 16’ in length) $19.00
Class 1 Vessels(16’ to less than 26’ in length) $23.00
Class 2 Vessels(26’ to less than 40’ in length) $29.00
Class 3 Vessels(over 40’ in length) $33.00
Inboard boats(regardless of size) $34.00
Boats propelled by an electric (trolling) motor only $9.00
The above costs do not include property taxes, clerks fees, titling fees or any other applicable charges. (301 KAR 6:005)

DISPLAY OF NUMBER AND DECAL

Once boats are assigned a registration number and decals, they must be displayed correctly. The number assigned, and no other, shall be displayed on the bow, or forward half, of each side of the vessel, read from left to right, and in a position to be distinctly visible. The letters and numbers must be of a plain block design, at least three (3) inches in height, and of a color that will provide maximum contrast to the background (light numbers on a dark hull or vice versa).

There must be a letter size space between letter and number groups:

Correct: KY 1234 AA
Incorrect: KY1234AA

Registration decals are to be placed within six inches behind (aft) and in line with the registration number. Upon renewal every year, old registration decals are to be removed and the current ones applied.

Bordering waters

Kentucky boaters on the Ohio River may also be subject to the laws of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and the U.S. Coast Guard.

TRANSFER, DESTRUCTION OR ABANDONMENT

When ownership of a currently registered boat changes, it is the responsibility of the purchaser to take the endorsed title to the county clerk and have the boat transferred into the name of the new owner. This procedure must be done upon completion of the transaction.

Whenever a vessel is transferred, the seller shall, within 15 days, give the county clerk notice of the transfer of his interest in the vessel.

Whenever a vessel is destroyed or abandoned, the owner shall, within 15 days, give notice to the county clerk to terminate the registration. The owner shall remove the numbers and decals from the vessel.

   proper display of numbers an decals

 

 

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BOAT, MOTOR and LAKE USAGE

 

 

(301 KAR 1:012, 1:015)

AGE RESTRICTIONS

A person must be 12 years or older to operate a motorboat (including personal watercraft) 10 horsepower or over on Kentucky public waters. A person 12-17 years old shall possess a Kentucky Safe Boating Certificate Card or a certificate showing successful completion of a NASBLA approved boater education course. For information about Kentucky’s Boater Education program, call 1-800-858-1549 or click here. Persons under 12 years of age must wear a personal floatation device (lifejacket) while in the open portion of a boat that is under way.

Maximum horsepower limits and other boat motor and lake usage regulations apply on many small public fishing lakes. (For boat size limits see box on this page.)

MOTOR SIZE RESTRICTIONS:

Operation of electric or internal combustion motors prohibited: Lake Chumley, Dennie Gooch Lake, Kingdom Come Lake.

Operation of internal combustion motors prohibited: Ballard WMA lakes, Bert T. Combs Lake, Briggs Lake, Carpenter and Kingfisher lakes, Carter Caves State Park Lake (a.k.a. Smoky Valley Lake), Lebanon City Lake (a.k.a. Fagan Branch Lake), Fishpond Lake, Lincoln Homestead State Park Lake, McNeely Lake, Marion County Lake, Martin County Lake, Metcalfe County Lake, Mauzy Lake, Mill Creek Lake, Lake Reba, Spurlington Lake, Swan Lake WMA (excluding Swan Lake), Washburn Lake, Pikeville City Lake.

 

10 HP operated at slow speeds which cause no disturbance or interference with fishing are required on: Beaver Lake, Boltz Lake, Bullock Pen Lake, Corinth Lake, Elmer Davis Lake, Kincaid Lake, Shanty Hollow Lake, Swan Lake.

Motors larger than 10 HP must operate at idle speed at all times on Cranks Creek (Herb Smith) Lake and Martins Fork Lake.

Idle Speed Only: Carnico Lake, Greenbo Lake, Pan Bowl Lake, Wilgreen Lake and all Peabody WMA lakes including Goose, Island and South.

Lake Malone and Lake Beshear: No horsepower restrictions on boat motors.

Guist Creek Lake: Pontoon boat maximum length is 24 feet.

Note

Legal-size boats exceeding the maximum horsepower restriction for a particular lake may operate their boat with an electric trolling motor only.

WATER-SKIING

While this section is titled waterskiing, it applies to persons being towed on any device such as knee boards, inner tubes, etc. Water-skiing is only allowed between sunrise and sunset. Additionally, it is illegal to manipulate skis, surfboards, etc. while intoxicated or under the influence of any other substance that impairs one’s operating ability.

Both the operator and skier should be alert to the areas of a lake or river marked as “no ski.” Persons shall not ski within 100 feet of a commercial boat dock, a moorage harbor or a swimming area or within 2,000 feet of a lock or dam.

Skiers who ski too close to other boats, docks and obstructions are showing poor judgment. Many of the complaints officers receive while patrolling the water are those about skiers skiing too close.

Persons being towed on any device must wear a Type I, II or III PFD. Boats (including personal watercraft) towing skiers must have, in addition to the operator of the boat, an observer 12 years of age or older or a wide angle rearview mirror mounted so that the operator can check on the skier but still give full attention to traffic ahead. There must be adequate seating for all riders.

Boats towing kites and similar airborne devices must:

  • Have, in addition to the operator, an observer 12 years or older (mirror will not suffice),
  • Stay 500 feet from commercial docks and ramps,
  • Limit the tow rope to 150 feet or less,
  • Have no more than two persons being towed.

ON ALL KENTUCKY FISH & WILDLIFE-OWNED/MANAGED LAKES:

  • Boaters must use idle speed (slowest speed possible to maintain maneuverability of a boat) when passing another boat with an occupant actively engaged in fishing.
  • The centerline of boats on the water cannot exceed 22 feet as measured on deck or bow to stern on all lakes owned or managed by Kentucky Fish and Wildlife.
  • On Cedar Creek Lake, Lake Beshear and Lake Malone only, float boats may have decking and pontoons up to 30 feet. There is no size restriction on canoes.
  • Houseboats are not permitted.
  • Personal watercrafts are prohibited on Cedar Creek Lake.
  • Swimming is permitted only in designated areas when a qualified lifeguard is on duty.
  • Skin or scuba diving is not permitted.
  • Boat motors without underwater exhaust are not permitted.

Water-skiing permitted as designated by signs on Guist Creek Lake and Lake Beshear from 10:00 a.m. to sunset beginning the third Thursday in May (May 15, 2014) through September 30. Similarly, water-skiing is permitted on Lake Malone beginning the third Thursday in May (May 15, 2014) through October 31. Water-skiing and tubing are prohibited on Cedar Creek Lake.

PERSONAL WATERCRAFT

The term “personal watercraft” (PWC) means a vessel which uses an internal combustion engine to power a jet pump for its primary source of propulsion and is designed to be operated by a person sitting, standing or kneeling on the vessel rather than by a person sitting or standing inside the vessel. In addition to being governed by the same laws that apply to all boats, the following laws apply to personal watercraft:

  • Personal watercraft can only be operated between sunrise and sunset.
  • Personal watercraft without self-circling capability must have a lanyard type engine kill switch attached to the operator when the craft is underway.
  • Operators and passengers must wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device (PFD.)

Because of their small size and low profile, operators of PWCs should exercise defensive driving. These craft are highly responsive and capable of quick turns. In fact, this is part of the fun of their operation. However, this kind of operation is reckless if done in congested areas of boat traffic.

SKIN AND SCUBA DIVING

(301 KAR 1:410, 6:030)

Skin or SCUBA diving is prohibited in all lakes owned or managed by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, except during emergencies, on Greenbo Lake and during salvage operations when the diver has written permission from the regional director or local wildlife and boating law enforcement officer assigned to the specific body of water in which the diving is to take place.

 

Persons diving or submerging with the aid of a mechanical breathing apparatus in an area where boats might be are required by law to display the diver’s flag.

This flag should be put on a buoy, boat or other floating platform so boaters will readily see it. Approaching boats must stay outside of a 100-foot radius of the flag. Divers must surface within a 50-foot radius unless there is an emergency.

Divers shall not dive in established traffic lanes nor interfere with anyone fishing unless emergency operations are in progress.

divers down flagsSWIMMING

Swimming in any lake owned or managed by the KDFWR is prohibited except in areas specifically set aside for swimming at which a qualified lifeguard is on duty. Kentucky law specifically prohibits swimming at any boat launching ramp. Swim in marked and supervised areas. If you are a non-swimmer or a poor swimmer, wear a PFD. Remember, PFDs are not just for boaters.

Refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages when swimming. Alcohol greatly reduces a person’s reflexes and strength when in the water. For persons who have had alcoholic beverages a PFD is the difference between life and death.

Persons who wish to swim a long distance should swim parallel to the shore instead of across a river or lake. Boaters don’t normally expect to see swimmers in the middle of a lake or river and may run over them.

INFLATABLES

Air mattresses, inner tubes and other similar devices are generally used as recreational items by persons swimming or sunbathing. Use of these items should be restricted to designated or generally recognized swimming areas and not be used in areas of boat traffic. Non-swimmers or poor swimmers should not depend on these devices to save their life. These items can be punctured and lose their buoyancy – wear a PFD!

LITTERING

(KRS 433.757)

The operator of any motorboat or vessel is responsible for any litter thrown into the water. Litter is not only unsightly, but can be dangerous to humans and animals. For example, fishing line discarded into the water can be hazardous to wildlife and to a boat’s lower unit. Animals can be ensnared in the line and die. Fishing line caught on a prop shaft can cause seal leaks and lower unit failure. Trot lines and limb lines can snare animals and other anglers in boats.

 

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BOAT OPERATION

 

RECKLESS OPERATION

The operator of a watercraft is responsible for damage caused by negligent operation. The following actions are considered reckless operation and are therefore against the law:

  • weaving through traffic;
  • following watercraft too closely that is towing an individual on waterskis, a surfboard or any water sport device;
  • jumping the wake of another craft in a way that endangers human life, physical safety or property;
  • cutting between a boat and the individual(s) being towed by the boat;
  • crossing the path of another boat when visibility is obstructed;
  • steering toward an object or individual in the water and turning sharply at close range.

Persons shall not operate a motorboat or personal watercraft within 50 feet of a commercial vessel and its tow that is in operation on a waterway, except if the operator of the commercial vessel has given consent.

When operating in a busy area, reduce speed and allow plenty of room for avoidance maneuvers. Even in areas that are not marked as idle speed, excessive wake can still be dangerous. Operators of larger craft should be aware of the wake their vessels are throwing.

IDLE SPEED

Kentucky law defines idle speed as the “slowest speed possible to maintain maneuverability” of a boat. Generally speaking for a properly adjusted boat, this is the speed when a boat is put into gear without advancing the throttle. Wakes can capsize small boats or cause damage to boats moored at marinas and docks. It is extremely important that boat operators be aware of their speed and the resulting wake. Operators are liable for any injuries or damage caused by their boat’s wake.

Boaters may see buoys or signs that say “No Wake.” This means that boats must be at idle speed.

LOCKS AND DAMS

Boaters in Kentucky may encounter lock and dam systems. Generally, these will be on the Green, Ohio and Kentucky Rivers (for the first four locks upstream to Frankfort, KY), but a few impoundments have a lock and dam. Locks are a relatively simple method of raising or lowering boats from one water level to another. If lockage is desired, boaters should signal the lock operator by using the pull chain on each end of the lock or call on marine channel 13. If the lock is not immediately available, boaters should position their vessels a safe distance from the approach channel to avoid personal injury or damage to their boat from wakes caused by commercial tows entering or leaving the locks. Never moor a vessel in the lock approach channels.

low head dams are dangerous

LOW HEAD DAMS ARE DANGEROUS

Low head dams are usually marked with “keep out” buoys or “danger” signs above and below. Low head dams pose an even greater danger due to the fact that they are not as recognizable, especially when water is flowing over them. It is this flow of water over the dam that creates a “boil” on the lower side. Boaters risk almost certain death if caught in this turbulence.

Dams associated with the locks can be very dangerous. Below locks and dams on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers waterways and the Kentucky River, boat occupants must wear a personal floatation device (lifejacket) upstream of danger signs and open-diamond buoys or within 150 feet of the downstream lock and dam wall. Anglers should never fish from or stand on lock and dam structures.

Boaters should be alert for these structures. Dams are either conventional or "low head" type. Conventional dams are easily recognizable with their spillways and power installations.

RESTRICTED ZONES

(KAR 6:030)

Kentucky law prohibits boats from operating within restricted areas as posted above or below navigation, power generating or flood control dams.

No fish is worth risking your life. Be aware of trespassing and danger zones. Wear a PFD when entering any area above or below a dam.

OPERATING UNDER THE INFLUENCE

(KRS 235.240)

It is against the law to operate a boat or vessel including personal watercraft, manipulate water skis, surfboard or other similar device while intoxicated or under the influence of any other substance that impairs one’s driving ability. Any person who operates a vessel on Kentucky waters is considered to have given consent to a test or tests to determine his alcohol concentration or the presence of other drugs. The tests shall be administered at the direction of a law enforcement officer who has probable cause to believe that the operator is intoxicated. An operator refusing the test shall be in violation of the law and subject to the same penalties.

Anyone who operates a boat, PWC, skis, surfboard or similar device while intoxicated with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher or while under the influence of any substance that impairs the operator’s driving ability may be subject to fines and possible jail time if convicted.

SMALL CRAFT PRECAUTIONS

Statistics show that approximately half the boat-related fatalities involve boats that are less than 16’ in length. These boats are usually unstable and can tip over, throwing the occupants overboard. Also, these boats can be easily swamped, especially if used on a large body of water where the wind can cause high waves. When using such craft, be aware of the hazards. Wearing a personal floatation device (PFD) is strongly recommended.

blood acohol content chart 

DRINKING IN PUBLIC AND PUBLIC INTOXICATION

(KRS 222.202)

Kentucky law specifically prohibits the drinking of alcoholic beverages in public places (this excludes establishments licensed to sell such beverages) and the waterways of this state are considered public places.

Further, in a public place, persons who are manifestly under the influence of alcoholic beverages to the extent that they may unreasonably annoy or endanger themselves or others shall be subject to arrest.

PROHIBITED RIDING

Approximately half of boat related fatalities result from falls overboard. When operating a motorboat above idle speed the operator or passengers shall not ride on an enclosed bow, outside protective railing of a pontoon or houseboat, on a seat which extends six inches above the plane of the gunwales, nor shall they ride on the sides, back, engine cover, back of seat, or any other obviously dangerous position which could lead to falling overboard.

 

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RULES OF THE ROAD

  

UNIFORM STATE WATERWAY MARKING SYSTEM

Boats Keep Out!Boats Keep Out
Nature of danger may be placed outside crossed diamond, e.g., waterfalls, swim areas or rapids.

Danger!Danger!
Nature of danger may be indicated inside the diamond shape, e.g., rocks, reefs, dams, construction or snags.

Caution!Caution!
Controlled Areas as indicated in circle, e.g., speed limit, no fishing, no anchoring, ski-only, slow-no wake, no ski or no prop boats.

InformationInformation
Tells directions, distances, places such as food, repair, supplies and other non-regulatory messages.

Obstruction

Obstruction
Marker Do not pass between shore and buoy.

Mooring BuoyMooring Buoy
White with reflective blue band. May have white light or reflector.

Channel Marker
Channel MarkerKeep buoy on right facing upstream.

Channel MarkerChannel Marker
Keep buoy on left facing upstream. Marker may be green or black.

On the water there are no painted lines to mark where boats must go. In order to provide an orderly flow of traffic, there are “rules of the road” that boaters should learn and practice.

Boaters on the water encounter three situations: meeting, crossing and overtaking. The following diagrams should give a clear explanation of who has the right of way (stand-on vessel) and who must give way (give-way vessel). However, in an emergency, all vessels must give way to avoid a collision. At night, a boat’s navigation lights give an indication of right of way.

  Boating Situations

The above rules cover most traffic situations, but a few other situations exist. Sailboats under sail have the right of way except when they are the overtaking vessel. Rowboats and paddle powered boats have the right of way over motorboats. All recreational craft should yield the right of way to large commercial craft (towboats, barges). Such vessels have large blind spots and will be unable to see smaller crafts in front of them.

On small or narrow bodies of water, all traffic should stay to the right of mid-channel and not “cut corners”.

BUOYS

Buoys are the most common types of navigational aid, and they serve the same purpose as traffic signs on the highway. Failure to obey buoys can result in enforcement action, or worse, a loss of property or lives. When boating in unfamiliar waters, slow down and look for any regulatory or channel-marking buoys. Remember that it is possible for these buoys to drift out of position. Kentucky law prohibits from tying up to any buoy except designated mooring buoys.

 

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REQUIRED EQUIPMENT
 

 



(301 KAR 6:040 Sect. 4)

For each person onboard a vessel, federal as well as state law requires a Type I, II, or III personal flotation device (PFD) on all boats. Boats 16 feet and over, except canoes and kayaks, must also carry one Type IV throwable PFD. Operators and passengers of personal watercraft must wear a PFD. Persons under 12 years of age must wear a PFD while in the open part of a boat that is under way.Types of PFDs

 

PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICES

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife strongly recommends wearing PFDs while boating, especially by children and non-swimmers. In order for PFDs to be legal, the following requirements must be met:

  • Coast Guard approved: A label with an approval number will be on the PFD. Check the label on inflatable types of PFDs. Some older models meet Coast Guard approval only when worn.
  • Serviceability: All straps, buckles, zippers, stitching, must be intact and the fabric should not be rotted. Some PFDs contain airtight bags filled with a fibrous material. Squeeze the bags. If air escapes, destroy the PFD and replace it with a new one.
  • Size: PFDs must fit properly. Read the label to determine size and weight restrictions.
  • Accessibility: PFDs must be readily available for immediate use by all occupants of a vessel. It is advisable for each person to try on their PFD before departing so that they are familiar with the fastening devices and to assure it is adjusted to the person. PFDs shouldn’t be stored in the plastic bags in which they were sold. This limits access and can promote rotting.
 
MARINE FIRE EXTINGUISHER CLASSIFICATION
Coast Guard Classes UL Listing Foam (gals.) CO2 (lbs.) Dry Chemical (lbs.)
B-I 5B 1.25 4 2
B-II 6B* 2.5 15 10
- 10B none 10 2.5
- 20B 2.5 50 4.5-6

FIRE EXTINGUISHERS

Kentucky law requires that all boats equipped with a petroleum product (gasoline, kerosene, propane, etc.) consuming device (engines, lanterns, stoves, etc.) shall have a hand portable fire extinguisher in serviceable condition and located for immediate use. The best fire protection is well maintained equipment and proper safety habits.

There are fuels other than gasoline that cause fires. Many houseboats use bottled gas (propane) for stoves and other appliances. Also, many fishermen will use a lantern while fishing at night; if tipped over it can cause a fire.

MINIMUM NUMBER OF B-1 FIRE EXTINGUISHERS
Vessel/size No Fixed Fire Extinguisher System Fixed Fire Extinguisher System Installed
Class A 1 0
Class 1 1 0
Class 2 2 1
Class 3 3 2



 

BACKFIRE FLAME ARRESTERS

Internal combustion engines may backfire. To safeguard against fire, all motorboats with enclosed engines and engines originally equipped with a flame arrester, (except outboards and diesels) must have an approved carburetor backfire flame arrester system on each carburetor.

VENTILATION

Most fires on a boat are due to ignition of fuel vapors. Gasoline is heavier than air. It can collect in the bilge or engine compartment and any spark can ignite it. Therefore, Kentucky law requires boats to have adequate ventilation of areas where flammable vapors can accumulate.Extinguishers

Most boats are equipped with adequate ventilation systems when they come from the factory. Usually, this is a combination of active and passive systems. Active systems use electrical blowers to exhaust flammable vapors from the bilge and other areas. Passive systems are ducts and cowls that ventilate areas when the boat is moving. Almost all inboards will have an electrical blower installed in the engine compartment. Operators should run the blower for several minutes before starting the engine. If the blower is inoperable it should be repaired or replaced immediately. Many boat fires take place after refueling, so care should be taken to avoid spilling fuel in the vessel.

 

NAVIGATION LIGHTS

All vessels when underway between sunset and sunrise must display proper navigation lights. Navigation lights on boats are restricted to the colors of red, green and white.

From sunset to sunrise in an area where other boats navigate, all vessels at anchor shall display a steady white light visible 360 degrees at all times. Manually propelled vessels shall carry a white light to display in sufficient time to avoid a collision.

The purpose of the red and green navigation lights at night is to show if your boat is in a meeting, crossing or overtaking situation. The red and green lights must be displayed from sunset to sunrise whenever a boat is underway. They will give some indication of the size and speed of vessels. The red and green bow lights are especially helpful in determining right of way in crossing situations. In the diagram below, boat B sees the green bow light of boat A, and has the right of way to continue on course. Boat A sees the red bow light of boat B and must stop or pass astern of boat B. In special circumstances, such as towing, refer to 33 CFR 83 (Inland Navigation Rules).

 
  Display of Navigation LightBoat A and Boat B

SIGNALING DEVICES

Kentucky law states that all boats 16 feet in length or longer must have a hand-, mouth- or power-operated signaling device capable of producing a blast for two seconds or more and audible for one-half mile for class 1 vessels, one mile for class two vessels and one and one-half miles for class three vessels. This does not exempt vessels from any other signaling device as may be required by federal law when operating on navigable waters of this state.

Navigation law also requires the following maneuvering and warning signals:

  • One long blast: Warning signal (coming out of slip)
  • One short blast: Pass on my port side (left)
  • Two short blasts: Pass on my starboard (right)
  • Three short blasts: Engines in reverse
  • Five or more blasts: Danger signal

MUFFLING DEVICES

Kentucky law requires all boats to be equipped with effective exhaust muffling devices. Usually, boats and motors that come direct from the manufacturer are adequately muffled. However, there may be instances of high performance boats that have been modified by the owners that are not in compliance with the law. Additionally, there may be federal and/or local regulations restricting boats with an over-the-transom exhaust system.

MARINE SANITATION DEVICES

(KRS 235:420)

Motorboats with marine toilets are not allowed on public waters unless the toilet is equipped with a Type I, II or III marine sanitation device (MSD.) Type I and II MSDs chemically treat sewage. Type III MSDs are holding tanks for raw sewage.

Raw sewage shall not be discharged in any public waters. Treated sewage may be discharged from a marine toilet into legal “discharge” waters. Those waters are Barkley and Kentucky lakes, Lake Cumberland and any of the major river systems. Type I and II MSDs must be sealed or locked while the vessel is on “no discharge” waters.

 

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ACCIDENTS
 

 

(301 KAR 6:030, KRS 235.250)

REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

If any of the following conditions occur as the result of a boating accident, collision, etc., a Boating Accident Report must be made:

  • death or disappearance of a person;
  • injury to a person which requires medical attention or incapacitates that person for 24 hours or more;
  • loss or damage to property (including the vessel) in an amount of $500 or more.

The operator of a vessel is required to complete the report. If the operator is not capable of filing the report and is not the owner of the vessel, then the owner shall be required to fill out a boating accident report.

Note 1: Even if a Law Enforcement Officer fills out a boating accident report, this does not exempt the operator from filing a report.

Note 2: The reports filed by operators of vessels are confidential and are not available as public record (KRS 235.250). However, reports made by officers are available for review.

Accidents involving death or serious injury must be submitted to the Division of Law Enforcement within 48 hours. All others must be submitted within five days.

Boating accident report forms are available from wildlife and boating law enforcement officers or by writing to Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Division of Law Enforcement, #1 Sportsman’s Lane, Frankfort, KY 40601, or by calling 1-800-858-1549.

RENDERING AID

An operator of a vessel involved in a boating accident shall render aid to other persons and vessels as long as it doesn’t endanger his crew, passengers or vessel. Also, the operator of any vessel involved in an accident shall give his name, address, and identification of his vessel, in writing, to any person that is injured or to the owner of any property that is damaged.

FIRST AID

This section includes suggestions that may save a life. First, boats should be equipped with a first aid kit. This kit should be able to provide treatment for burns, insect bites, cuts and abrasions.

Second, boaters should take a first aid course so they know how to treat victims with sprains, broken bones and shock.

Third, boaters should know how to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) in case they encounter victims of near drowning, heart attack or trauma from boating accidents. In many cases, emergency medical help is further away on the water than on land. Interested persons should contact their local chapter of the American Red Cross for information on first aid and CPR training.

HYPOTHERMIA

Four elements cause hypothermia – cold, moisture, wind and exhaustion. Symptoms of hypothermia are uncontrollable shivering, slurred speech, stumbling, blue skin, decreased heart and breathing rate, weak pulse and unconsciousness.

All hypothermia symptoms demand immediate attention. As soon as possible, a victim of hypothermia should be brought out of the weather. Wet clothing should be replaced with dry clothing. If the victim shows mild symptoms, get them near a fire or other heat source or put them in a warm sleeping bag. For victims with advanced symptoms of hypothermia, seek immediate medical attention. Never give alcohol to the victim.

The best cure for hypothermia is prevention. Monitor weather reports when you plan to be in the outdoors. Dress in layers and always have foul weather gear handy.

FATIGUE

Boaters should be aware of the factors that induce fatigue while on the water. The wind, sun, engine noise and constant motion of the boat can greatly reduce a person’s reaction time.

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