By Cris McSparen, Scorpion Bay Marina General Manager
Spending hot summer days with those we love at Lake Pleasant enjoying the idyllic lake views, the cool water, and the warm sun is at the top of many people’s lists. As you make your way to Scorpion Bay Marina, here are seven tips to follow for a safe and enjoyable summer adventure.
1. Arrive Early: Summer is one of the busiest times of the year at Lake Pleasant. Visitors to the lake should plan to get there early to get a spot and avoid rushing and speeding to maintain safety for everyone. Be aware of others around you and take extra precautions to prevent accidents and injury. Also be sure to check the Maricopa County Parks Department website as they have implemented hard closures the past few weekends due to capacity.
2. Designate a Captain: At the beginning of the day, each family or group should assign someone to act as the head of the party. The captain makes sure all members of the party are safe and are where they are supposed to be throughout the day. Keeping an ongoing headcount during the day is a great way to make sure everyone is safe and makes it home at the end of the day.
3. Drink Responsibly: Although most water-safety organizations warn lake-goers to avoid caffeinated and alcoholic drinks, those who choose to imbibe alcohol should do so responsibly. Be sure to keep hydrated with water even when not thirsty and be sure to avoid operating a boat or any other watercraft while intoxicated.
4. Lifejackets are Required: The moment kids arrive at the Scorpion Bay dock, it’s a good idea to put a lifejacket on them. State and federal law require children 13 and under to wear a well-fitting, Coast Guard-approved life jacket at all times when they are onboard any boat; all others must have a life jacket readily accessible. It’s important to note that all people on personal watercraft or being towed by a boat must wear a life jacket regardless of their age. The best rule of thumb is to consistently wear a life jacket around water. Remember to always be sure to have enough life jackets in your watercraft for everyone on board.
5. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate: Although the lake is a place for people to kick back and relax, it is an important time to keep hydrated. Banner Health suggests drinking eight to 10 eight ounce glasses of water during extreme heat, low humidity or activity even if you’re not thirsty and to avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages. Protecting your skin with sunscreen and protective attire—including hats and sunglasses— along with reducing activity during the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. are all parts of staying hydrated. Dehydration is often the root cause of sickness and accidents on the lake, so be sure to learn the warning signs of heat exhaustion and heat-related illnesses to make sure everyone in your group stays healthy.
6. Never Swim Alone: The buddy system is always a good idea around water. Make sure before you do any activities on the lake that everyone has a buddy to keep their eye on throughout the day—swimming alone is unsafe, even for adults. Never leave young children unattended near water and never ask a child to watch another child near water. If a child goes missing, always check the water first.
7. Keep an Eye on the Weather: Weather conditions can change quickly at Lake Pleasant. If there is any chance of inclement weather, be sure to be up-to-date on forecasts at the National Weather Service site. Any visitors on land should stay out of the washes. Also, if you are on a watercraft, make sure to make your way to the docks before weather conditions become dangerous. Overcrowded docks can prevent visitors from being able to get their watercraft out of the water safely.
Scorpion Bay is Arizona’s premier floating playground, offering everything from daily pontoon and ski boat rentals to slips for long-term live-aboard lifestyles. Learn more at scorpionbayaz.com.