A guide to Boating Law and Safety: ABCs of California Boating
Imperial Wildlife Refuge Happenings…
By Drew Cyprian, Refuge Officer
BOATING SAFETY on
Imperial National Wildlife Refuge
Easter weekend normally marks the beginning of our boating season.
While you are on the water, please remember some important safety
issues and regulations before heading out. Play it safe, not just for you
and your family, but for everyone on the river.
· Check your safety gear in your boat. This includes life jackets, fire extinguishers, and water rescue equipment.
o Life jackets- one per occupant that is sized appropriately and in good condition. Remember anyone 12 years old or
younger needs to wear a PFD while underway.
o Fire extinguisher. All watercraft 16 feet and larger are required to have at least one fully charged, easily accessible fire extinguisher on board.
o Water rescue equipment.Makes sure you have at least one type 4 throwable device in good condition and easily accessible.
· Check your registration sticker. Make sure it is current and keep the certificate of numbers (registration) on the boat. Any watercraft in the water must have current registration even if not in use.
· For the Refuge all AZ and CA boating laws apply.
· The Refuge, also, does not allow camping, fires, fireworks, or the removal of any objects.
This includes plants, animals live or dead and objects of antiquities. Unless you have a permit.
· Remember to look for the regulatory buoys and boundary signs indicating the no ski areas and no wake zones.
All backwaters are no wake. "Wakeless speed" means a speed that does not cause the watercraft to create a wake, but in no case in excess of five miles per hour. (*The Fisher's Landing marina and lagoon are also no wake zones!)
·Leaving any items overnight is considered littering and can be impounded or seized as evidence. Do not leave shadeframes up to reserve your spot on the sand bars. Your visit is on a first come first serve basis. This applies to all the public areas of the river, not just the refuge.
· Remember the rules of the road (water) while operating your watercraft.
Some don’t, so give them lots of space.
· Don’t drink and drive/operate a watercraft.
These are just a few rules to help you have a safe and enjoyable
visit to the area. These are not all inclusive. Please refer to
the AZG&F website for more details located at:
You will find all the ARS title 5 and Commission rules for Arizona there.
Imperial National Wildlife Refuge website:
From AAA of Southern California
Water precautions save lives
Thousands of people take to the water on boats, Jet Skis® and other watercraft over the summer. AAA is reminding boaters that practicing safe habits can help them avoid tragic or costly accidents.
Before starting their engines, boaters should follow these safety guidelines, according to AAA:
- When towing your watercraft on the road, don’t cut corners short. Watch carefully when backing up and be aware of what’s behind you.
- Be sure to check the engine compartment to see if the battery is secure and the cables are tight. Check fuel line for leaks or signs of wear or cracking.
- Check the vessel’s fire extinguisher to make sure it has not expired and that it meets marine safety requirements.
Once in the water, keep these tips in mind:
- Don’t operate a boat or other watercraft if you have been drinking alcohol or using drugs. They impair reaction, timing and judgment.
- Be aware of your surroundings and watch for people in the water, other boaters and personal watercraft.
- To avoid injuries, turn off the engine when near individuals in the water.
- Adults and children must have approved life vests that fit all individuals on the vessel.
- Don’t stand in or on a vessel while it is in motion.
- Try to minimize distractions while driving. If you’re the driver, watch the horizon and let one of your passengers observe the skier.
- Don’t overload the vessel. Not only is it unsafe, but you could be cited by the local authorities. Always secure loose items in the boat.
- For boats, be sure to turn on the blower after fueling and prior to starting the engine.
- Watch the oil, temperature and other gauges for signs of problems. Ignoring warning signs can result in costly repairs.
Owners of boats and other watercrafts should consider protecting themselves and others with insurance coverage. Insurance policies may cover physical damage to your boat and theft of your boat; injuries to other people and their property; and medical coverage for you and others when towing water-skiers from powerboats. An insurance agent can help you choose what best suits your needs.