What are the rules for boaters during Thunder Over Louisville?
Tips for safe boating at Thunder Over Louisville
NO WAKE ZONE. A No Wake Zone is in effect from Ohio River Mile 604.3 (Portland Canal) through Mile 598.0 (Six Mile Island). This is also the area that is regulated and monitored by the Coast Guard and other public safety officials.
There is a PICKET LINE at the Big Four Bridge. No public or commercial traffic beyond this line during the show.
Be Aware of River Conditions!
Strong river currents: High water associated with melting snow and spring rains can significantly increase river current speeds.
Waves and congestion: An estimated 450 boaters may attend this event. After the fireworks conclude, boaters leaving the area may produce wakes and ignore navigation rules. Be patient and plan to take a little extra time to return home.
Debris: High water can produce heavy debris and drift. It is difficult, especially at night, for boaters to see and avoid these hazards to navigation.
Low water temperature: While the air temperature may be warm, the river water temperature can be around 40 degrees. This low a temperature can cause Hypothermia within minutes.
Fatigue: Many boaters enjoy the event from before Noon until after the fireworks display. That much time on a boat can be tiring and lead boaters to make serious mistakes.
Drinking: Those unlawfully drinking alcohol amplify the risks to themselves and other boaters.
Solutions and Tips
Pre-trip you boat: Preventative maintenance to your boat will help you avoid problems later. Properly working navigation lights and safety/distress equipment are a must.
Wear Lifejackets: Just do it!
Use appropriate anchors: Makeshift anchors like five-gallon buckets and cinderblocks will not hold on the river bottom.
Observe safety rules at all times: No wake zones and navigation rules of the road exist to keep boaters safe; abide by them! Right size boat: Ensure your boat can handle the large wakes put out by other boaters.
Safe boating courses: The Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Power Squadron have great courses for the novice and experienced boaters alike. Call CG Auxiliary at (502) 459-0287 or the Power Squadron at (502) 241-6851 for more information.
Together we can make our waterways safer. And remember: The safest place for a boater to enjoy Thunder Over Louisville is FROM THE BANK!
For more information on Thunder boating safety or to see a river chart, see the Thunder Boating Safety Brochure.