Be Safe Near Locks and Dams

Warning To Pleasure Boaters and Anglers Who Navigate On The Ohio River

At Ohio River lock and dam structures, there are RESTRICTED AREAS, which have been established in an effort to keep boats out of the most dangerous areas near these structures.

Stay out of these areas, they can be deadly.

Most fatalities at dams result from fishing boats coming too close to the downstream side of the dam gates. Powerful reverse currents in these areas can pull boats into the dam structure where they are capsized and smashed against the structure. Another dangerous area, below the dam, is at the lock chamber discharges, located along the river wall. When the chambers are emptied, sudden turbulent discharges can capsize a boat. Above the dams, the water may look calm, but the current of the water flowing underneath the dam gates can create a strong undertow capable of pulling a boat down, and through the dam.

Remember: Stay out of restricted areas, and always wear a life vest, or other approved personal flotation device. 


The leading causes of boating accidents are capsizing, falls overboard, and collisions. Be safe while boating. Keep your distance from other boats.

Alcohol is believed to be a factor in more than 50 percent of fatal boating accidents. Alcohol induces fatigue, and affects coordination and balance. In combination with motion and engine noise of the boat plus the effects of the sun, wind, and glare, alcohol can be deadly for anyone on the water.

Life jackets prevent serious injury or death, both will only work when worn properly