Night boating accidents: What to know on Ohio’s lakes

On Behalf of | Mar 30, 2022 | Personal Injury

If you will be boating at night, you need to understand the laws that apply to your vessel. Before you can captain a vessel, you do need to have the right knowledge. You’ll need the right licensing to go boating if you were born after January 1, 1982. If you were born before then, you may have the opportunity to boat without one in some circumstances.

The reason that the state requires licensing is because it’s important for people to take the proficiency examination and boating course approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators. The NASBLA course teaches you important things like which lights to use while traveling at night and how to signal which side of another vessel you will pass on.

For example, did you know that you will need a white light if you plan to go paddling after dark? This white light is required to be used by canoers and kayakers to make sure other vessels will see them. If you’re sailing, you’ll need to have three lights, white, green and red. These have to be visible, so other boats can see if they are approaching you head on, from behind or from the left or right sides.

Where do your night lights go on your boat?

It’s necessary to install a green light on your starboard side, which is the right side of your boat. You will install the red light on the port side of your vessel. Then, you can place white lights around the boat at the top, front and back center.

The lighting is important because it makes it easier to see which direction your boat is traveling and the angle at which you’re traveling. The lights should be visible enough to be seen at least a mile away from smaller boats or two miles away from boats 39.4 feet or longer.

Good boat safety starts with helping others see you clearly at night. Take a boating course if you are unsure of the rules of using your vessel on the lakes, rivers or bodies of water in Ohio.