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5 tips for a safe trip to Arizona's lakes

It's not even summer yet, and five people have died at Lake Pleasant in as many weeks.

PEORIA, Ariz. — For the fifth weekend in a row, someone has lost their life at Lake Pleasant.

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office says 32-year-old Tehanah Smith was hit by a boat propeller over the weekend. Her leg was amputated in that accident, and she later died.

Lake officials like Heather Austin with Scorpion Bay Marina are hoping to help people understand a few precautions they can take ahead of going out to any of the lakes this summer. 

She says while some of the safety measures seem simple, it never hurts to be reminded of the things you can do to safely enjoy the recreational sites.

"Our priority is always the safety of members and guests who come to Scorpion Bay Marina or anywhere on the lake," she explained.

RELATED: Woman dies after Lake Pleasant boating accident amputated her leg

Here are five tips to help your next trip:

1. Check the conditions: 

"The weather in Phoenix is not the weather up at Lake Pleasant. If there's any indication of high winds, it's a good idea to reschedule your trip and come at a different time."

2. Get out early:

"Sometimes people are surprised when they get a line when they come to enter the park or the marina. Arrive early so you don't feel rushed, and so you're taking your time to do your safety checks."

3. Have fitted, Coast Guard approved, life jackets:

"Make sure everyone in your group has their life jacket, has been hydrated, has their sunscreen on, and is ready to go."

4. Designate a captain:

"This person is like your designated driver. They are the team leader. They make sure that everyone gets home safely, so they're not drinking. It's very important that they keep everyone on track and keep everyone safe, know where everyone is, and make sure it's a safe experience for everyone in their group."

5. Boat safety classes:

"They need to have that flag up when someone's in the water. They need to make sure the rope isn't wrapped around a part of the boat that it's not supposed to or someone isn't holding it casually, getting to those specifics about how you wakeboard or how you water ski, those boater safety courses are very important for someone who's a new boat owner."

Click or tap here for boating safety courses:

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