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Safe boating recreation is a must, and everyone should take a minute and remember to checkyour boats, personal watercraft and all equipment before launching at your favorite lake orwaterway. Make sure you have all required safety equipment, such as proper life jackets andworking fire extinguishers.
Always check local weather conditions before departure- TV and radio forecasts canbe a good source of information. If you notice darkening clouds, volatile and roughchanging winds, or sudden drops in temperature, play it safe by getting off the water.
Follow a Pre-Departure Checklist
Proper boating safety means being prepared for any possibility on the water. Fromcompliance with fire safety regulations to tips for fueling up, following a pre-departurechecklist is the best way to make sure no boating safety rules or precautions have beenforgotten.
Use Common Sense
One of the most important parts of boating safety is to use your common sense. Thismeans operating at a safe speed at all times, especially in crowded areas. Be alert at alltimes, and steer clear of large vessels and watercraft that can be restricted in theirability to stop or turn. Also be respectful of buoys and other navigational aids, all ofwhich have been placed there for one reason only- to ensure your own boating safety.
Make Proper Use of Lifejackets
Did you know that the majority of drowning victims are the result of boating accidentswere found not to be wearing a Lifejacket? Make sure that your family and friendsaren’t part of this statistic by assigning and fitting each member of your onboard teamwith a lifejacket-prior to departure.
Practice boating safety at all times by saving the alcohol for later. The probability ofbeing involved in a boating accident doubles when alcohol is involved, and studieshave also shown that the affect of alcohol is exacerbated by external effects such assun and wind.
Learn to Swim
If you’re going to be in and around the water, proper boating safety means knowinghow to swim. Local organizations such as the American Red Cross and others offertraining for all ages and abilities- check to see what classes are offered in your area.
Media and Public Contact: Gerry Blair, Coconino County Sheriff's Office, 928-226-5089