Lake Havasu City, AZ: The Lake Havasu Marine Association’s “Designated Operator 2.0 Program” is ready for re-launch on Friday, August 18, raising awareness of all boat drivers to be safe and sober while boating on Lake Havasu.
The Designated Operator Program was originally launched on March 1, 2013. The mission of the campaign is to instill an awareness among recreational boaters that assigning the responsibility of a sober “designated operator” will significantly reduce the number of under-the-influence related boating accidents and fatalities resulting from reckless decisions made on the water.
“It’s time to turn this campaign up a notch,” says Jim Salscheider, LHMA president and CEO. “If you’re going to be behind the wheel of a boat, refrain from consuming alcohol until you’re off the water. Having a sober person making clear-headed choices at the helm is critical in reducing on-the-water accidents.”
The Designated Operator 2.0 campaign will consist of three primary components: wristband distribution, an aggressive social media outreach to boaters, and important partnerships with key community businesses, organizations and agencies.
Designated Operator wristbands will be distributed at popular on-water restaurants and bars to boat drivers who have taken the pledge to remain sober while driving their boat. Locations include: Pirate Cove Resort, Topock 66, Nautical Beachfront Resort/Naked Turtle, London Bridge Resort, Shugrue’s, Havasu Landing, Black Meadow and Havasu Springs Resort. Wristbands entitle wearers to complimentary non-alcoholic beverages (sodas, ice tea, etc.) at those locations. Wristbands will also be given to sober boat drivers by various water patrols while performing their routine duties.
To spread the message as quickly as possible, social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, blogs and popular Internet boating forums will be key in this effort. Also adding credibility are partnerships with community businesses and organizations including seven different law enforcement agencies, the Todays News Herald, Arizona State Parks (Windsor and Cattail Cove), the aforementioned restaurants, and various marine industry dealerships and boat manufacturers.
“Boaters need to remember that Designated Operator” is a completely voluntary awareness program,” remarked Salscheider. “Its sole purpose is to persuade a boat operator to voluntarily remain sober, abstaining from any substances or beverages that will impair his or her ability to safely operate a boat. Acting and thinking responsibly at the helm is imperative every time you go boating. If we can make Designated Operator synonymous with Colorado River/Lake Havasu safe boating practices, we’ve done our job.”