MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz. — With the weather heating up and Memorial Day weekend right around the corner, more and more people are taking off for the lake. Not to mention, it’s National Safe Boating Week.
Imagine — a beautiful day on Lake Pleasant. Water is cool. Boats are up and running. Many more days like it are on the horizon. So consider taking a few precautions — starting with wearing your life jacket, which the law requires for kids age 12 and under.
“The biggest cause of fatalities in boating accidents nation-wide year after year is drowning,” said Josh Hoffman of AZ Game and Fish. “And 85 percent or more of those drownings could have been prevented if somebody had been wearing a life jacket.”
According to Hoffman, Memorial Day has a way of bringing out a lot of novice boaters.
Big picture advice: “…be responsible in sharing the water. Don’t assume it’s your lake. It’s everybody’s lake. If you are a paddler, stay closer to shore. If you need to cross boating channels, do so in a group and at right angles,” he said.
When you are on the water, use common sense. Don’t drive recklessly. Pay attention to the no wake zones. And have your safety equipment on board.
Major Danny Rodriguez also said, “So something to keep in mind, if you’re going to be operating on the water here in Arizona, that you have a sober operator. And you avoid drinking and driving.”
AZ Game and Fish usually offers boating and kayak lessons that can be set up through its website.
But those lessons are on hold for now because of COVID-19.