By Tonya Norwood-Pearson
Arizona Game &Fish Department
Boating Education Program Manager
As soon as the words "boating"
and "accident" are placed together in a sentence, one vision comes
to mind: reckless boaters clutching cans of beer.
Operating your vessel while under the influence is definitely a
problem. Local law-enforcement officers are addressing this problem
in a commendable and effective way.
However, alcohol is no longer recognized as public enemy No. 1 ó
Did you know the Arizona Boating Safety Report has identified the
top three causes of recreational boating accidents in order of
frequency as operator inexperience, operator inattention, and
careless or reckless operation?
These operator errors result in significant yearly increases in
property damage, injuries, and even death. There is a way to combat
operator error: education.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department offers boating-education
courses year round at locations throughout the state.
Last year, the fourth week of May (in 2006, it runs May 20-26)
was declared Arizona Safe Boating Week. In part, the declaration
"Whereas, on an average, 700 people die each year in
boating-related accidents in the U.S.; nearly 70 percent of these
are fatalities are caused by drowning (non-use of life jackets).
"Whereas, the vast majority of these accidents are caused by
human error or poor judgment and not by the boat, equipment, or
My fellow boating enthusiasts, letís keep a good day good by
wearing our life jackets and taking a boating-education class.