May 08–Boaters can learn how to break out of their pool and lock through any of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 23 regional locks and dams during LockFest with free locking demonstrations, and boating and navigation information.
LockFest will be held at Allegheny River Lock and Dam 4 at Natrona, 1 River Ave. in Harrison; and Grays Landing Lock and Dam in Masontown from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday.
Officials from the Army Corps, Coast Guard, Allegheny River Development Corporation, commercial tow operators and other waterway groups will discuss water safety, boating regulations and general river safety.
“For some, locking through can be intimidating,” said Jeff Hawk, Army Corps spokesman. Knowing proper procedures to lock through and practicing general boating safety can prevent injury and damage, he added.
This year, the Corps is requiring boaters on recreational vessels and other boats to wear life jackets if they are holding lines during the locking process.
LockFest tours will be given on a first-come, first-serve basis in groups of about 20.
The Corps asks visitors to wear close-toed shoes; no sandals or heels. Some surfaces on the lock wall and in other areas are uneven or have grating.
The Corps also requests that visitors not bring large purses or backpacks.
Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-226-4691, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @MaThomas_Trib.