LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- If you're planning to take a boat out on the Ohio River this weekend, the Coast Guard says there are some essential safety precautions you should take. 

The U.S. Coast Guard will be helping to keep over half a million people safe during Thunder Over Louisville Saturday. 

"Our responsibility is the water," Lt. Karol Garrison said. 

Boaters will see the U.S. Coast Guard out in full force on Saturday. 

"We have personnel on the water at all times during Thunder Over Louisville," Garrison said. 

With rain in the forecast, water levels could be high. The Coast Guard says boating can turn dangerous in bad weather conditions very quickly.  

"It is going to be dangerous if the water levels do increase rapidly, so we definitely are keeping an eye on that," Garrison said. 

The Coast Guard has some safety tips every boater should know:

  • Wear your life jacket
  • Stay in the boat, and out of the water
  • Alcohol and boating don’t mix
  • Stay alert and aware
  • Double check safety supplies

"This is not the kind of river you want to jump off the boat, this is where we will have to save you if you jump off the boat," Garrison said. 

It's also imperative boaters stay in the marked zones and don't drive into any restricted areas. 

"With so many boaters, making sure you stay alert is key," Garrison said. 

Several Coast Guard boats should be visible in the water if you need assistance. If you need help, you can also reach the Coast Guard on channel 16 of your boat radio.

"We always monitor channel 16 and we have the guys on land monitoring it as well," Chief James Sharky said. 

The Coast Guard says the main priority is keeping everybody safe on Saturday, but boating laws will be enforced if need be. 

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