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Arizona among states with most boating accidents, National Safe Boating Council says

Posted at 4:38 AM, Aug 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-03 07:10:42-04

With a three-day weekend and triple-digit temperatures, a day on the lake may be in the forecast for many Arizonans this Labor Day.  

While it is a great option, it also comes with a bit of preparation to ensure your trip does not hit choppy waters. 

"Labor Day typically isn't the biggest holiday of the summer, but it is usually the craziest," explained Scorpion Bay Marina General Manager Chris McSparen. 

According to brand new statistics compiled by the U.S. Coast Guard and put out by the National Safe Boating Council, Arizona ranked 8th in the nation for boating accidents last year. Those incidents resulted in more than a dozen deaths and nearly 80 injuries.  

"The more you're prepared and the more you know, and keep your captains paying attention, the better the outcome you're going to have for the day," McSparen said. 

So, he offers some tips:

  • Designate a captain
  • Life jackets. It is important to note, it is Arizona law that children 12 and under must have a life jacket on
  • Make others aware of your plan and where you'll be/what time you'll return
  • Beer and boats don't mix if you're the driver
  • Boats need to stay 60 feet back from other vessels, including water toys