Boating Safety

Published by The Bee News

May 24, 2023

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The Bullhead City Police Department would like to remind everyone to be safe around water this summer. The Police Waterways Unit will be patrolling the Colorado River and urges people to pay attention, wear their life vest and to be a sober operator.

To prepare for our busy boating season, it is important for operators, particularly people renting personal watercrafts, to know their vessel and the rules of the waterway.  In an effort to help make our waterways safe, all rental consumers are mandated to watch a safety video before they operate a rented personal watercraft on the Colorado River. This safety video can be viewed by anyone at www.bullheadcity.com/WatercraftSafetyVideo

Unfortunately, the Bullhead City Police Department responds to numerous accidents every summer on the river. The boating and beach patrol officers and the contracted Water Rescue & Safety lifeguards continually see people commit dangerous violations, which are common causes of these accidents:

SWIM AREAS: The park beaches are very crowded with people swimming and wading near the shoreline, so please use extra caution as swimmers can be hard to see. We want everyone to enjoy their time on the Colorado River, but do so SAFELY!  There are some designated swim areas at Community Park and Davis Camp. NO watercrafts, including jet skis, are allowed in these areas. Violators of the “controlled use swim area” law will be cited. There are numerous signs posted in this area stating no watercrafts are allowed. If you would like to beach your personal watercraft, set up your beach day camp in an area somewhere else.

NO-WAKE ZONE: Please pay attention to signage. SLOW DOWN! Think of a no-wake zone as if you’re going through a school zone, moving at idle speed.

SKI WITH FLAG/ OBSERVER: If you are going to tow a tuber from a personal watercraft, it has to be on a three-person seater. There must be enough room for the operator, the observer, and the tuber to ride if necessary. An observer is someone sitting on the back of the jet ski watching to make sure the tuber is safe. That observer is also required to have a flag. The flag is raised if the tuber is in the water to alert other watercrafts.

PROXIMITY LAW: Watercrafts must remain 60 feet from each other. Our boating officers often see personal watercrafts play and splash each other and do not realize how easy it is to collide.

WEAR A LIFE JACKET: Boats are required to carry several safety devices, including a personal flotation device for each person onboard and children 12 years and under must wear a life jacket. Everyone on a personal watercraft or jet ski must wear a secured personal flotation device. It is very important that life vests are properly fitted.

In addition to the water, our roadways are expected to be congested. Extra patrols will be out looking for suspected DUI drivers this holiday weekend. Please be a safe driver and operator on our waterways and roadways by being sober, patient and courteous.

City offices will be closed on Monday, May 29th to observe the Memorial Day Holiday. Have a safe summer.

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