Two people died and four were injured in two separate boating accidents on waters within or bordering Arizona. One person died in a multi-boat accident at Lake Pleasant while the second fatality involved a water-skier who was struck and killed by a hit-and-run boater on the California side of Lake Havasu on July 3.
In the Lake Havasu hit-and-run case, anyone who may have witnessed the incident or has other information regarding it is asked to please contact Sergeant Clayton Bailey, Sgt Tim Smith, or Detective Jimmy Trahin of the Colorado River Sheriff’s Department at (760) 326-9200.
To see the full press release from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department (California), visit http://www.sbcounty.gov/sheriff/public/pressreleases/PRDetail.asp?PRID=3134.
While investigators from the Maricopa County Sherriff’s Office and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department continue to probe the two accidents’ exact causes, the Arizona Game and Fish Department reminds boaters to Boat Safe, Boat Smart and Boat Sober.
Boat Safe by avoiding waterskiing in congested areas, steering clear of rough water and excessive speeds while towing skiers, and rapidly retrieving your skiers from busy waters. In addition, boaters should always travel in a counterclockwise direction while on the water.
“Boaters should keep the closest shore over their right shoulder, and they shouldn’t cut blind corners where oncoming boaters can’t see them,” says Kevin Bergersen, state boating law administrator with the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
Boat Smart by taking a boating safety education class. Educated boaters are safer boaters. Boating accident statistics indicate that more than 70 percent of all boat operators involved in boat accidents have not attended any formal boating safety education classes.
Boat Sober by designating a designated boat operator. Consuming alcohol is permissible on a boat, but the operator cannot be under the influence of alcohol (OUI) to the slightest degree.
“The Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limit for boats is 0.08 percent or higher, the same as motor vehicles,” says Bergersen.
The boating fatality at Lake Pleasant is the first within Arizona this year. Two people died in boating accidents in the state during 2009. For boating safety information, including course information, please call (623) 236-7235 or go to http://www.azgfd.gov/boating, or to page 3 of this issue of AZBW/WOT.
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