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Stay safe while boating or riding your ATV this summer

Published: Jul. 6, 2021 at 8:07 PM EDT
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MARIETTA, Ohio. (WTAP) - With the hot weather this time of year, you might break out your boat or ATV to get some breeze going…

But it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt.

Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Ben Kelley has been riding ATV’s since childhood and has been through the ATV safety institute training. He knows how fun the hobby can be and how dangerous it can be.

“For ATV and UTV riding, we’ve seen broken limbs, we’ve seen head injuries. We’ve seen cuts…,” he said.

If you ask Kelley how to stay safe while riding, he breaks it down into a simple list.

Number one - ride trails that match your experience level.

Number two - always wear a helmet, gloves, and long sleeves and pants.

Number three - never ride alone, no matter how experienced you are.

Kelley said, “You can have an accident in an area and you can be um stranded if the machine pins you if the machine pins you you can be injured and left kind of alone in the woods with no cellphone service until the next person comes along.”

And number four - take a training course if you can.

Now for you boaters out there, we talked to Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Jason Albanese, who is a boater himself.

He recommends learning the laws and rules of the water through a safe boating class also…

“Another thing you can do is, you can get what we call an Ohio’s Operators Guide. Most of your marinas will have those, where you buy boats or buy boating equipment,” Albanese said.

And of course, just like with seat belts, everyone on board should wear a life jacket.

And...don’t party too hard.

Albanese warned, “Alcohol is involved in well over half the boating accidents in the state of Ohio and nationwide it’s about the same trend too and there’s a lot of fatalities that result in that.”

You can also request a DNR safety inspection to make sure you have all the equipment you need.

From WTAP to you - wishing you smooth sailing.

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