Boat safely this busy Memorial Day weekend

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May 22nd, 2008

Boat safely this busy Memorial Day weekend

The Memorial Day holiday is nearly upon us, and that means more boats are likely to be out on Arizona’s waterways this weekend. The Arizona Game and Fish Department reminds boaters to take precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable outing.

Among the things you should do before heading out on a lake or river:

  • Make sure enough life jackets are on board the boat for everyone, and make sure they’re all the right size, U.S. Coast Guard-approved, and in good working order, free from holes.
  • Know the “rules of the road.” The correct direction of travel on Arizona lakes is counterclockwise (shoreline off your right shoulder).
  • Check that your boat’s motor and propulsion system are working right.
  • Keep in mind that alcohol limits for boat operators are identical to those for motor vehicle drivers and you could be arrested for operating under the influence of alcohol if you exceed those limits.
  • Don’t crowd other boaters, and remember to maintain a safe distance when passing others.
  • Know the passenger and weight limits for your boat, so you can avoid overloading it.
  • Make sure your fire extinguishers work.
  • Put drain plugs back in your boat after winter storage.
  • Visit to view other boating regulations, too.

“This week, May 17-23, is National Safe Boating Week, but boating safety is really important every day,” says Arizona’s Boating Law Administrator Kevin Bergersen. “You should always wear your life jacket, be aware of the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning, and never operate a boat while intoxicated.” A boating safety education class covers these topics and much more.

Bergersen adds, “Operating a boat is a huge responsibility, and boaters should take boating safety seriously.” Last year alone, there were 220 accidents, 118 injuries and eight fatalities on Arizona’s waterways.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department recommends taking a boating education class. Statistics show knowledgeable boaters are safe boaters. Those interested in taking a Game and Fish boating safety class can call (623) 236-7235 or visit for more information.

“When heading out to the water, do yourself, your friends, and your family a favor,” says Bergersen. “Boat safe, boat smart, and boat sober.”

One Response to “Boat safely this busy Memorial Day weekend”

  1. Laura Hornstra on May 26th, 2009 at 4:03 am

    How about not allowing 14 year old children drive seadoo’s, jet Ski’s or any personal watercraft on the same body of water (Lake Havasu) that you allow boats over 40 feet that can be driven well over 65 miles an hour? I will never understand why you let this happen.

    Also, I believe anyone who drives a boat or PWC on any body of water, should have some sort of training just like we have before anyone is allowed to drive a car on the road.

    I do not believe that anyone who makes the laws or rules for boaters on Lake Havasu have spent any time on the lake in a boat especially on a holiday weekend.

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