“Go Boating Safely!” is the new theme for Colorado River’s Annual Tri-State Boating Safety Fair. The event will take place Saturday, May 16 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Lake Havasu City’s London Bridge Beach Park, along the Bridgewater Channel at 1340 McCulloch Blvd.
This sixth annual fun-filled family affair will kick-off National Safe Boating Week (May 16-22) by a group of state, local and federal boating agencies that want to encourage boaters to hit the water this summer, but safely and responsibly.
Organizers will be talking about challenges that boaters face while boating on the Colorado River and about general boating safety. Families will be given the opportunity to bring in one outgrown or unsafe life jacket to trade in for a brand new one from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (while supplies last). The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will also be conducting free vessel safety checks.
Families at the event and along the river will also receive a “boating safety bag” filled with promotional items and information about boating laws in strategic areas of the Colorado River.
Many beautiful lakes in Arizona, California and Nevada offer many boating opportunities, but none of them are more popular than the 233-mile long, and beautiful Colorado River. “The river has several massive lakes and runs through three states, so we will be there to clarify both the fun boating opportunities and safety challenges we see with a waterway this large and complex. We will also be manning 27 different boat launch ramps to make sure we reach the most boaters,” said Raynor T. Tsuneyoshi, California’s Boating Law Administrator.
“This year, the lakes are full to the brim and we want people to go out on the water and enjoy the experience, but we also want them to be safe and make good decisions,” said Kevin Bergersen, Arizona’s Boating Law Administrator. “Most of us know that life jackets and designating a sober captain saves lives, but expecting the unexpected and using good judgment are key factors in returning home safely. We want this event to provoke that kind of awareness and thinking.”
Boating officials will also be informing boaters about “clean, drain and dry,” an effective procedure for combating and preventing the rapidly spreading nuisance of quagga mussels. This nasty invasive species continues to pose a serious threat to fun, safe and environmentally friendly boating. “Quagga mussels are a growing concern as they take over more of the Colorado River System,” said Fred Messmann, Nevada’s Boating Law Administrator. He said experts will be on hand to demonstrate cleaning techniques, explain the issue and provide clarification to boaters with questions.
The Tri-State Boating Safety Fair is free and the public is encouraged to stay the entire day to picnic, swim, fish and partake in the action. For more information about the boating safety fair, call Arizona Game and Fish Department at (623) 236-7377, California Department of Boating and Waterways at (916) 263-0788, Nevada Department of Wildlife at (775) 688-1548, or visit www.BoatColoradoRiver.com. Information on common boating laws and each state’s requirements on the Colorado River can also be viewed on this Web site.