OUI checkpoints are a proven-effective method for achieving this goal. By publicizing these enforcement and education efforts, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office believes boaters can be deterred from operating watercraft while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In addition, members of the boating community are encouraged to ensure their vessels are properly outfitted with required safety equipment to ensure a safe voyage.
Traffic volume and weather permitting, all vessels may be checked for safety equipment and operators who are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs will be arrested. Our objective is to send a clear message to those who are considering operating a watercraft after consuming alcohol or drugs-Boat Safe, Boat Smart, Boat Sober! Deputies of the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office will partner with Officers of the Arizona Game and Fish Department, National Park Service, Arizona Department of Public Safety, and the Page Police Department. It is our desire that this two pronged approach of public awareness/education and strict enforcement will allow boating enthusiasts to have an enjoyable and safe recreational experience in Coconino County.
Safe boating recreation is a must, and everyone should take a minute and remember to check your boats, personal watercraft and all equipment before launching at your favorite lake or waterway. Make sure you have all required safety equipment, such as proper life jackets and working fire extinguishers.
Always check local weather conditions before departure- TV and radio forecasts can be a good source of information. If you notice darkening clouds, volatile and rough changing winds, or sudden drops in temperature, play it safe by getting off the water.
Follow a Pre-Departure Checklist
Proper boating safety means being prepared for any possibility on the water. From compliance with fire safety regulations to tips for fueling up, following a pre-departure checklist is the best way to make sure no boating safety rules or precautions have been forgotten.
Use Common Sense
One of the most important parts of boating safety is to use your common sense. This means operating at a safe speed at all times, especially in crowded areas. Be alert at all times, and steer clear of large vessels and watercraft that can be restricted in their ability to stop or turn. Also be respectful of buoys and other navigational aids, all of which have been placed there for one reason only- to ensure your own boating safety.
Make Proper Use of Lifejackets
Did you know that the majority of drowning victims are the result of boating accidents were found not to be wearing a Lifejacket? Make sure that your family and friends aren’t part of this statistic by assigning and fitting each member of your onboard team with a lifejacket-prior to departure.
Practice boating safety at all times by saving the alcohol for later. The probability of being involved in a boating accident doubles when alcohol is involved, and studies have also shown that the affect of alcohol is exacerbated by external effects such as sun and wind.
Learn to Swim
If you’re going to be in and around the water, proper boating safety means knowing how to swim. Local organizations such as the American Red Cross and others offer training for all ages and abilities- check to see what classes are offered in your area.