The temperature finally reached the triple digits and the water is warming up. The lake beckons. Even though boating season’s Memorial Day peak is still about a month away, there’s already plenty of action on the water. Fast power boats, family-friendly pontoons and personal watercrafts of all kinds are all over the lake, and it’ll get more crowded as the weeks go on.
Please be careful.
A fun day on the lake can turn tragic in the blink of an eye. Boating season got off to an early sad start last weekend when three people were killed in a boating accident following the Desert Storm Shootout. It had nothing to do with the organized portion of the annual Desert Storm events, but the accident involved people who were very skilled and responsible boaters. They were enjoying a quick cruise around the lake, when they apparently hit an errant wave and their boat went careening into the air. In a matter a moments, three members of the Lake Havasu community were taken from us. That’s how quick it can happen.
Yes, speed has been mentioned as a possible contributing factor in last week’s deadly accident. But there’s precious little you can do about freak accidents, and for that matter you can’t predict what other people on the lake might do. Personal responsibility is your best precaution.
2017 was particularly deadly, with 10 deaths on the lower Colorado River between Parker and Laughlin – most of the incidents occurring on Lake Havasu. This year is already off to a bad start. After last summer, the Lake Havasu Marine Association started pushing boaters to assume responsibility for actions that could lead to accidents. Specifically, the association began drawing attention to certain boating practices, such as the unsafe overtaking of slower boats, boating while intoxicated and the use of flotation devices and safety lanyards for auto-shutoff. None of that will ensure a safer summer, but it does raise awareness about the need for a little personal responsibility out on the lake. Be a careful boater. If you aren’t, the results can be tragic.
One thing is certain – we don’t need new speed limits on the lake. Or any new laws, for that matter. State law already requires that boats are operated at speeds appropriate for conditions, and the law has enough teeth for law enforcement to put the kibosh on irresponsible boaters. The lake is a big draw for performance boats and tourists seeking an unrestricted good time on the water, and unnecessary new laws would only serve to hurt our tourism-based economy.
Yes, there’s a balance that has to happen, but a fun day on the lake and responsible boating aren’t mutually exclusive ideas.
Lake Havasu is about good times. Heck, we incorporated that attitude into our city slogan – love it or hate it, the town’s official motto of “play like you mean it” means we’re serious about having fun. So please, have a good time. But be careful – it’s all fun and games until somebody gets hurt.
— Today’s News-Herald – Editorial 4-30-2018