River Safety and Laws

At Green Acres, we want all of our guests to have a good time and we strive to provide a relaxing and carefree fun environment. However, we do have rules and our rules will be strongly enforced when needed. The land owners along the river are our neighbors and our friends. We respect their properties and require our guests to do the same. We will not tolerate unruly behavior, littering or trespassing! If we receive a complaint from our neighbors or other customers, we shall have the unruly person(s) removed from the river without a refund.
We are proud to be Green and our Acres clean. Please take a free reusable garbage bag on river trips.

Watercraft Laws and Boater Responsibility:

U.S. Coast Guard-approved lifejackets are required for every person (Section 1547.25 of the Ohio Revised Code). Wearable lifejackets are required for each person.
Children under the age of 10 are required to wear a properly fitted, USCG-approved lifejacket at all times while on a boat (Section 1547.24 Ohio Revised Code).
Operating any boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs is prohibited (Section 1547.11 Ohio Revised Code). Ohio’s limit for impairment is .08 blood alcohol content level for persons who are of legal drinking age. It’s .02 for anyone who is under 21.
Disposing of any item considered to be litter in any ditch, stream, river, lake, pond or other waterway is illegal (Section 1531.29 Ohio Revised Code).
Respect the rights of landowners. Almost all stream bed and land adjacent to Ohio’s streams is privately owned. Seek the owner’s permission before using any property.
For additional rules and regulations, see the Ohio Boat Operator’s Guide available from the Division of Watercraft.

Safety Tips:

Wear a lifejacket at all times. (Children under 10 are required to wear life jackets of an appropriate size).
Be prepared to swim. Expect to get wet!
If you capsize, hold on to your boat unless it presents a life-threatening situation. If floating in current, position yourself on the upstream side of the capsized boat.
Dress properly and bring an extra change of clothing with you in a waterproof bag or leave dry clothes in your car.
Neoprene shoes (water shoes) or tennis shoes are recommended footwear.
Portage (carry) around any section of water about which you feel uncertain.
Avoid overexertion and guard against extreme weather conditions.
File a “float plan” with a reliable person indicating where you are going and when you will leave and return. Remember to contact the person once you have returned safely.
Never boat alone.
Do not overload or unevenly load your craft.
Do not attempt to stand or walk in swift moving water.

Trip Planning:

Proper trip planning (prior to the trip) will help ensure that you have a pleasant and safe experience.
Check for any high water/restrictions information. (Will be posted on Facebook, Twitter and website)
Consider the temperature of the water as well as the air temperature. Dress for the water’s temperature.
Carry adequate drinking water.
Be prepared for any unknown event. Know how to get to roads if you must “walk out.” Take a free river map.
Display courtesy and respect to riverfront landowners and other stream users.
Properly secure your vehicles at the take-out.

Trip Size and Organization (Scout Groups/Groups with inexperienced Paddlers):

Group size and paddling skills are a consideration. The recommended minimum is three boats. No one should paddle alone.
Each person has specific responsibilities in the overall group organization. The safety of the group is dependent on everyone carrying out these responsibilities.
The lead boat carries an experienced river runner and:
Sets the pace and continually evaluates the pace for rest of the boats.
Selects and communicates to the rest of the group the route to follow.
Carries first aid and rescue equipment.
The sweep boat is the last boat and must carry an experienced river runner and rescuer. The sweep boat will only pass other boats in the event of an emergency and:
Carries first aid and rescue equipment.
Assists with keeping the group together.
The remaining boats have a responsibility to stay in between the lead and sweep boats. If a boat inadvertently passes the lead boat, they should immediately stop and wait for the group to catch up and:
Maintains space to avoid collisions, but still stays compact as a group.
Always keeps the next boat upstream and downstream in sight; stops if the downstream boat isn’t visible.
Communicates messages.
Allows descending boats the right-of-way.

Potential Hazards:

In order to have a safe trip, boaters must be aware of hazards that he or she may encounter while on a stream such as:
STRAINERS: River obstructions that allow water to flow through them, but which block or “strain” people and boats, are known as “strainers”. They are frequently found in the form of overhanging branches and limbs. All strainers should be avoided, especially in swift water.

Remember to always take on a river trip:
Personal Flotation Devices
Food and drinking water
Rain gear along with a change of clothing (Leave dry clothes in car).
Cell phone for emergencies (carried in waterproof container).
River Map