1547.071 Authority of law enforcement officer when especially hazardous condition exists.

(A) If a law enforcement officer observes a vessel being used and determines that at least one of the unsafe conditions identified in division (C) of this section is present and that an especially hazardous condition exists, the officer may direct the operator of the vessel to take whatever immediate and reasonable actions are necessary for the safety of the persons aboard the vessel, including directing the operator to return the vessel to mooring and remain there until the situation creating the hazardous condition is corrected or has ended.

For the purposes of this section, an especially hazardous condition is one in which a reasonably prudent person would believe that the continued operation of a vessel would create a special hazard to the safety of the persons aboard the vessel.

(B) The refusal by an operator of a vessel to terminate use of the vessel after being ordered to do so by a law enforcement officer under division (A) of this section is prima-facie evidence of a violation of section 1547.07 of the Revised Code.

(C) For the purposes of this section, any of the following is an unsafe condition:

(1) Insufficient personal flotation devices;

(2) Insufficient fire extinguishers;

(3) Overloaded, insufficient freeboard for the water conditions in which the vessel is operating;

(4) Improper display of navigation lights;

(5) Fuel leaks, including fuel leaking from either the engine or the fuel system;

(6) Accumulation of or an abnormal amount of fuel in the bilges;

(7) Inadequate backfire flame control;

(8) Improper ventilation.

(D) This section does not apply to any of the following:

(1) Foreign vessels temporarily using waters that are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States;

(2) Military vessels, vessels owned by the state or a political subdivision, or other public vessels, except those that are used for recreation;

(3) A ship's lifeboats, as defined in section 1548.01 of the Revised Code;

(4) Vessels that are solely commercial and that are carrying more than six passengers for hire.

Effective Date: 03-18-1997