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Boat safety is important in Arizona, just like in any other state, to ensure a safe and enjoyable boating experience. Here are some key points to consider regarding boat safety in Arizona:

  1. Boating Education: Arizona law requires individuals born on or after January 1, 1985, to complete a boating safety course and possess a valid Arizona Boating Education Card when operating a motorized boat of 10 horsepower or greater.
  2. Life Jackets: The use of personal flotation devices (PFDs), commonly known as life jackets, is mandatory for all passengers on board a boat in Arizona. Children under 12 years old must wear a life jacket at all times while the boat is underway.
  3. Alcohol and Drugs: It is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Arizona. The state’s boating under the influence (BUI) laws are similar to driving under the influence (DUI) laws.
  4. Fire Extinguishers: Boats with an inboard engine, enclosed compartments, or closed fuel compartments must have a Coast Guard-approved fire extimextinguisher on board.
  5. Navigation Lights: All boats must display proper navigation lights when operating between sunset and sunrise or in conditions of reduced visibility.
  6. Speed Limits: Pay attention to posted speed limits and be aware of speed zones. Slow down in congested areas, near docks, and when approaching other vessels.
  7. Weather Conditions: Keep an eye on weather forecasts before heading out on the water. Sudden storms can pose a significant risk to boaters. If inclement weather approaches, seek shelter immediately.
  8. Watch for Hazards: Be mindful of submerged objects, rocks, sandbars, and other potential hazards in the water. Arizona’s lakes and waterways may have varying water depths, so caution is essential.
  9. Communication and Float Plan: Inform someone responsible onshore about your boating plans. Share your itinerary, including departure and arrival times, and check in with them upon your return. This helps authorities locate you if an emergency occurs.
  10. Maintenance and Equipment: Regularly inspect your boat and equipment to ensure everything is in working order. This includes the boat’s engine, lights, safety equipment, and emergency tools like anchors and ropes.

Remember, these guidelines are not exhaustive, and it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with Arizona’s specific boating laws and regulations. Additionally, practicing common sense, being attentive, and following basic boating etiquette can go a long way in promoting safety on the water.

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