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Get up to speed on boating safety as summer season approaches

Officials with multiple agencies suggest visitors and residents alike should take the time to brush up on boat safety to ensure a safe and fun time on local lakes.

As summer nears, people planning on heading out to the local lakes his summer should take the time to refresh on boating safety. 

Experts with multiple agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Arizona Military Collectors Club, Peoria Fire, Arizona Game and Fish and the Maricopa County Sheriff Office, hosted a safety event at Lake Pleasant for the purpose of educating visitors and residents. 

Don McDowell, one of the organizers for the event, wanted everyone to be mindful of multiple safety measures.

"Things change. The rules of the lake change. This lake is extremely crowded," he said.

As a rule of thumb, people should be cognizant of other boaters. Power boats should also yield to all other visitors. And before even setting out for the day, double checking all equipment is a must. 

"We have our life jackets on, our kids constantly have them on. We have the flag when we're skiing or wake boarding or surfing," one person said.

Wrex Lindsay and his family take precautions every time they come out to the lake and and remember to protect any pets they bring as well.

"This is Nico and much like a child, when the boats underway, they need to have their life jackets on. I have seen dogs fall off boats and if you don't get back around in time, they can ingest too much water and drown," Kimijo Mareska said.

The Peoria Fire Department and the U.S. Coast Guard suggest watching for existing hazards and take advantage of free services that will help keep you and your family safe on the water.

"The water levels change seasonally, so we keep our eye peeled on where there might be hazards," Peoria Fireman Ben Smith said.

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