AP NEWS

City, state team up to promote water safety

May 15, 2019

BULLHEAD CITY — The Bullhead City Fire Department and Arizona Game and Fish Department are once again partnering to promote safety on the water this summer.

The agencies will join forces during May, National Water Safety Month, for a life jacket exchange.

The exchange event will be held Saturday, from 10 a.m. to noon, at Bullhead City Fire Station 2, 1230 Highway 95.

During the exchange, old, worn-out and less-effective Type III life jackets may be exchanged for a new one. Type I and Type II life jackets will not be accepted. All sizes will be available while supplies last.

Arizona law requires that children age 12 and younger wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket while on board a vessel. In addition, every passenger on a vessel, regardless of age, must have an approved life jacket readily accessible.

Boaters are encouraged to make sure their life jackets are in good condition — including straps and fasteners — and that they are not ripped or torn to ensure that the flotation hasn’t shifted. Life jackets should be inspected each boating season because of the environment’s impact on their materials. It’s a good idea to inspect life jackets before each boating outing.

During National Water Safety Month, the BCFD is reminding all that water safety “is everyone’s responsibility.”

“Drowning can happen in an instant and is the leading cause of death in young children,” said a release from the fire department.

The department offered several safety tips.

• Constant adult supervision.

Actively supervise children and non-swimmers around the water, even when lifeguards are present. Don’t just drop kids off. Avoid distracting activities such as checking email or social media.

• Learn to swim.

No matter your age, learning to swim is one of the best ways to be safe in and around the water.

• Look for lifeguards.

Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards and always enter the water feet-first the first time because you may not know the depth of the water or what obstructions could be on the bottom.

• Swim with a buddy.

Do not allow anyone to swim alone. Even at a public pool or a lifeguarded beach, use the buddy system.

• Wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.

Adults and children should wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket while boating. Non-swimmers and inexperienced swimmers also should wear a life jacket at all times when in and around the water. Inflatable toys can be fun but are not a substitute for U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets.

• Learn CPR and rescue techniques.

For more information, contact the BCFD’s Fire Prevention Bureau at 928-754-2001 or go to www.nationalwatersafetymonth.org.

For more information about boating in Arizona or to sign up for a free safety course, go to www.azgfd.gov/boating.