Coast Guard addresses Thunder Over Louisville safety concerns


by Gene Kang

Posted on April 17, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 18 at 6:44 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The U.S. Coast Guard in Louisville says its security plan for Thunder Over Louisville works well and that there is no need for major changes after the Boston Marathon bombing.

Despite the predicted chilly temperatures Saturday, the Coast Guard is still expecting hundreds of boaters.

WHAS11 is your official station for Thunder No. 24. Our crew held on as a U.S. Coast Guard boat left the dock as they took a ride-along. It will be one of several vessels monitoring the Ohio during Thunder Over Louisville.

"Being out there all day is going to wear you out so be aware of your surroundings and cognizant of the people around you. Be courteous at night because there will be a lot of people trying to get to the same place," Lt. Geoff Albe with the U.S. Coast Guard said.

Click here for a list of tips to keep your friends and family safe while on your boat.

Hundreds of boaters from the region will come out to have a good time. But hopefully with precautions in mind.

"People coming out here up all night from the night before, not knowing what they're doing and ready to party. You've got to think safety first," boater Kevin Davis said.

It’s a family tradition for Davis, his father Dan and dog Misty. They docked their boat called "Hope Floats" near Tumbleweed Restaurant days before the show.

Downtown Louisville will be filled with an estimated half a million people this weekend. Many will be on the Ohio River.

"South of the Big Four Bridge there will be a 200 foot picket line set along the Indiana coast line," said Lt. Albe.

Whether on land or water, a mix of sun, alcohol and all day fun can possibly cause dehydration and a lack of good judgment.

The U.S. Coast Guard says first-time boaters need to look out for fatigue and have all your gear and if you're driving a boat, no drinking. The Coast Guard adds that everyone must wear a life vest.

For Davis, as long as you play by the rules it's a good time had by all.

"Everybody comes around and has a big pot luck and anyone who can experience it I hope they do," Davis said.

The U.S Coast Guard believes that even after the Boston Marathon tragedy their annual safety plan will be strong enough to hold up.