A Letter To Us All
Whenever friends or family are getting ready for a day on the
water, whether at a local lake, the river or the ocean, I always
tell them to "Keep a good day good!"
It’s a simple statement really, and it’s meant to emphasize
that I want them to maintain an awareness of where they are and
what they’re doing—all of the time! It’s all too easy to relax too
much and lose touch with our sense of self-awareness, especially
after being in the sun all day, bounced around by wind and waves.
Add alcohol to the mix, and the likelihood that a good day will
remain good can rapidly diminish.
The National Safe Boating Council tells us there are four basic
principles we can follow to "Keep a good day good!" They are —
- Wearing life jackets saves lives – Wear yours!
- Boating education saves lives – Take a class!
- A safe boat saves lives – Get a vessel safety check!
- Sober boating saves lives – Don’t drink alcohol or use
One way to help reinforce all of these lessons is to take a
boating-safety course from the Arizona Game and Fish Department,
the Power Squadron, or the Coast Guard Auxiliary. In many cases,
these courses are free, offered at convenient times and locations,
and only require the investment of a few hours. Yet, fewer than 2
percent of Arizona’s 147,000 boat owners take a class each year.
According to the latest available U.S. Coast Guard boating
statistics, in 2004, Arizona ranked 30th in the nation in the
number of boats registered. Yet, a five-year summary of boating
accident statistics shows Arizona has consistently been in the top
six states for the total number of reported accidents.
Please remember to wear a life jacket and to refrain from
drinking and driving a boat — and please consider taking one of
the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s boater-education classes.
You can get more information about them by calling the
department at (602) 789-3235. You can also go to the department’s
Web site at azgfd.gov/education
and click on the "boating education" link.
Let’s all "Keep a good day good!" on Arizona’s waterways.
Boating Safety Education Program Manager
Arizona Game and Fish Department