MAY 20, 2015

Accidents on water happen, life jackets save lives

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PHOENIX — Arizona’s boating season is in full swing and the Arizona Game and Fish Department is gearing up.

“Accidents and incidents can happen to anyone at any time so it is absolutely critical everyone aboard a boat has a fully functional life jacket. It’s also the law,” said Josh Hoffman, Arizona Game and Fish Boating Safety Education Coordinator.

National Safe Boating Week runs from May 16 to 22. The yearlong life jacket campaign promotes the value of voluntary, consistent life jacket use by recreational boaters through the national theme, “Wear It!”

U.S. Coast Guard statistics show that drowning was the reported cause of death in three-fourths of recreational boating fatalities in 2013 nationwide and that 84 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets.

“Our lakes and waterways offer some of the best scenery our state has to offer, but our boaters can only take it in if they’re around to enjoy it,” Hoffman said. “Simply wearing a life jacket can mean the difference between having a great time on the water with friends and family, and not going home at all.”

New life jackets are much more comfortable, lightweight and stylish than the bulky orange-style most boaters know. There are innovative options, such as inflatable life jackets, allowing mobility and flexibility for activities like boating, fishing or paddling and are much cooler in the warmer weather.

For more information on boating in Arizona or to sign up for a safety course, visit Those seeking more information should visit