AZGFD: Spring Aboard Campaign Encourages Watercraft Users To Complete Boating Safety Course
PHOENIX — Safe boaters are educated boaters, that’s why the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) is encouraging all water goers to take a boating safety course during the national Spring Aboard campaign March 19 to 25.
Those who complete one of AZGFD’s two classroom courses March 18 or an online course during the Spring Aboard campaign will be entered in a drawing to receive a free watercraft rental generously donated by one of the following businesses:
• Phoenix ATV and Jet Ski Rental
• Jet Action Rentals in Tempe
• Havasu Adventure Company in Lake Havasu City
• Laughlin Watercraft Rentals in Bullhead City
• Parker Canyon Lake in Elgin
“This is an exciting time of year for our boating community,” said Josh Hoffman, AZGFD Boating Safety Education program coordinator. “Another great boating season is on the horizon and everyone is looking forward to when they can get out on the water. Before doing so, people should make sure they are prepared by taking a boating safety course.”
AZGFD offers free monthly classroom courses in Phoenix and Lake Havasu City to provide water users the information and tips needed to stay safe while on the water. The department also offers pay and free online courses.
For more information on boating safety or to register for a classroom or online safety course, visit www.azgfd.gov/boating and click “Boating Safety Education.” Below is a list of classroom boating safety courses scheduled for March:
Arizona Boater Education Course
• 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. March 18, Apex Arms Facility – Green Building, 2176 McCulloch Blvd. N. Suite 8, Lake Havasu City
• 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. March 18, Arizona Game and Fish Headquarters, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix
Courses cover basic skills needed to safely operate a boat or personal watercraft, trailering your vessel, navigational rules, buoys, anchoring, legal requirements, boating emergencies, water sports and paddling. In addition, most insurance companies offer a discount on boat or watercraft insurance rates for completing a course.
The department also reminds watercraft users that all boats, including paddle boards, must have a wearable life jacket for every passenger aboard and those 12 years old and younger must wear a life jacket at all times, under state law. Users should also check to make sure a life jacket fits properly by ensuring there is no excess room above the openings of the jacket and that it does not ride up over the chin or face.
Spring Aboard is a national campaign coordinated by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) to encourage the state’s boating and watercraft users to complete a safety education course.
In 2015 nationwide, 71 percent of the 626 watercraft-related deaths involved a vessel where the operator had never taken a safety course, according to U.S. Coast Guard statistics. It’s with that statistic in mind that NASBLA developed and produced Spring Aboard, utilizing a grant from the U.S. Coast Guard.
To learn more about Spring Aboard, visit www.nasbla.org.