2009-07-11 / News

Here's ODNR's report on BLASST

By Tim Waln, Park Manager and Bob Pitakos, Assistant Park Manager, Ohio State Parks

First special thanks to the following ODNR staff for their hard work and support on Friday night, July 3, 2009.

Thanks to: Mark Maxwell, Chuck Wadley, Brian Bishop, Brenda Sams, Jon Dobney, Pat Swallie, Victor Ricks, Kirk Tranchita, Mark Hoffhines, Doug Johnson, Greg Bushee, Jack Manley, Josh Gardner, Martin McCallister, Mike Yates, Jeff

Baker, Eric McCune, Greg Seymour, Paul Baker, Ryan Trout, Chris Marr, Tim Archer, Rodger Norcross, Ryan Schroeder and Denny Karl.

ODNR wants to acknowledge and thank the following outside agencies for their continued support in making this a safe and enjoyable event.

Thanks to: Fairfield County Sheriff's Office, Licking Township Fire Company, Buckeye Lake Police Department, Richland Township Fire Department, Millersport Police Department, Thorn Township Fire Department, Millersport Fire Department, Fairfield County Dive Team, Buckeye Lake Fire Department, Fairfield County EMA, Licking County Dive Team, Licking County EMA, US Coast Guard Auxiliary and Fairfield County Special Ops.

The weather was partly sunny and a cool breeze prevailed. Launch ramps were extremely busy from 15:00 hours (3 p.m.) to dark and the overflow lots were filled. The land areas had a lot of families who arrived early just to relax and enjoy a day at the lake. The lake had a good deal of chop until an hour before sunset, and then the boats arrived and anchored for the display. The sea of navigation lights was quite impressive.

During the operational period from 14:00 (2 p.m.) to 01:00 (1 a.m.) there were 37 officers working the event. During that time over 100 verbal warnings and 28 citations were issued. The citations issued were for open consumption of an alcoholic beverage, fireworks, golf carts, and lake speed limit after dark, no navigation lights and 2 citations for OUI (operating under the influence) in a watercraft. There was one minor boat accident during the event.

Overall, the visitation was very high and the event went smoothly. Maintaining the level of officer presence, zero tolerance for violations and the public service announcements keeps the crowds in check and manageable. The three Natural Areas Officers kept the launch site secure and increased visitor safety. This was another successful event and could not have been done without the cooperation and efforts of all involved.

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