OSU Small Boat Safety

Any person utilizing small boats (motorized or non-motorized) for research or educational activities under the auspices of OSU must meet OSU standards and policies and have their boating projects approved by the OSU Diving and Boating Safety Officer (DBSO) or designee. The OSU Small Boat Checklist and OSU Boating Work Plan list and describe these basic policies. Prospective vessel operators should submit an OSU Scientific Boating Application to the DBSO.

The OSU Small Boat Safety Program works with OSU faculty, staff, students, and approved volunteers using small motorized or non-motorized boats as part of their field research, providing the support needed to operate safely in their research environments. Motorized or non-motorized activities on the water in a small craft carry inherent risks. The inherent risk associated with basic operations then becomes compounded by the complexities and task-loading associated with field research. All the inherent and project-specific risks must be identified and successfully mitigated to a level allowing for safe operations prior to setting out on the water.

Individual and group safety should be the first priority of OSU personnel engaged in field research. OSU vessel operators (motorized and non-motorized) must be current in First Aid and CPR, and certifications for crew members are highly recommended. The OSU EH&S Remote Fieldwork Safety Guide and information available through OSU Environmental Health and Safety are helpful tools to use when first planning field work, and courses such as Wilderness First Aid and Wilderness First Aid-Afloat may be appropriate and are regularly offered through the OSU Adventure Leadership Institute.

A non-inclusive list of small vessel types operated for OSU research include: small motorboats, personal watercraft (PWC) such as jet skis, sailboats, kayaks, drift/row boats, canoes and various types of rafts. Individuals using these types of craft for research should contact the DBSO directly and complete an OSU Vessel Information form for submission to the DBSO.

New Boaters

Interested in using small boats for academic or educational purposes? Here you can find a summary of the steps needed to gain boating approval.

Current Boaters

Resources for current OSU Operators already on file with the Boating Safety Program.

Need a Boat?

The OSU Small Boat Program can help you find the platform that best suits your needs.

Scientific Diving

Interested in going underwater for research? The OSU Scientific Diving Program can help.

Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs) - OSU personnel using small motorized or non-motorized vessels for research must wear an appropriate PFD at all times while on the water.