US Army Corps of Engineers
Louisville District

Water Safety

Enjoy an outstanding outdoor recreation experience while visiting William H. Harsha Lake. Visitors planning to hunt, camp, hike or picnic near the water, or fish, swim or enjoy other water sports are asked to use common sense and practice water safety. Lives depend on it. Remember, water safety is everyone's responsibility.  For more information about water safety including fun activities for children, click on the water safety link on the right.

No matter where the location or size boat, safe boating should be the number one priority. For more information, call Boating Safety Hotline at 800-368-5647. Call BOAT/U.S. Foundation Courseline for a class at 800-336-BOAT or go to the BOAT/U.S. website for an on-line course.

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary performs boat safety checks free of charge at the Corps of Engineers Boat Ramp. The exams are usually scheduled in May - July. Contact William H. Harsha Lake to see when the next boat safety checks are scheduled, or go to the Coast Guard Auxiliary website and click on vessel safety to find out what is included in a safety check and how to schedule one.  The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Watercraft also offers boating safety courses and performs vessel safety checks.

Brand New Life Jacket Loaner Program!
Boating at William H. Harsha Lake has just gotten a little bit safer because the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has teamed up with Boat U.S. Foundation to offer life jackets for temporary loan. Let's say you have guests for the weekend. You want to take them out on the lake, but you not have enough life jackets for everyone. Just call our office at 513-797-6081 to request a loan and stop by between 7:30 am and 3:30 pm to pick up a life jacket on loan for the day or weekend. After a day on the water, just drop off the jacket at the Visitor Center located on Slade Road near the dam. This program will run from May 1 through the end of September.


Are You Next?
Expect the Unexpected - Wear Your Life Jacket


A slip or fall overboard can happen to anyone.

Wearing a life jacket buys time for you to be rescued.

It takes an average of 60 seconds for an adult to drown, but just 20 seconds for a child.

A STRONG swimmer averages 10 MINUTES to put on a life jacket after entering the water. How long would it take YOU?

Regardless of how well you swim, you could have to fight for your life due to unexpected conditions such as waves, current, exhaustion or injury.

A fellow swimmer or boater can help you when you encounter the unexpected, so never swim alone.

Swimming abilities are likely to decrease with age, so don't overdo it.

If you won't wear a life jacket for yourself, WEAR IT for those who love you.

Remember these tips to be safer in and around the water:

Learn to swim WELL.

Always swim with a Buddy.

Never dive into unknown water.

Do not overload the boat.

Alcohol, drugs and water do not mix.

Always wear a life jacket; it's a friend for life.

The leading causes of boating accidents are capsizing, falls overboard, and collisions. Be safe while boating. Learn the rules of the road. Keep a distance from other boats and fishermen.

Alcohol is believed to be a factor in more than 40 percent of fatal boating accidents. Alcohol induces fatigue, and affects coordination and balance. In combination with motion and engine noise of the boat and the effects of the sun, wind and glare, alcohol can be deadly for anyone on the water.

Life jackets can prevent serious injury or death, but will only work when used properly. Boat Smart from the Start - Wear a Life Jacket.

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