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Boating Education

'Boat Safe, Boat Smart, Boat Sober'


August 1, 2019

The Arizona Game and Fish Department's Boating Safety Education courses include instruction on the basic skills required to safely operate a boat or personal watercraft, trailering your vessel, navigational rules, buoys, anchoring, legal requirements, boating emergencies, watersports and paddling.

Take a boating education course now! Most insurance companies offer a discount on your boat or PWC insurance rate for completing one of our courses.

Courses are offered in three formats: classroom courses, home study courses and online courses. Becoming a safe and knowledgeable boater is just a click away. During this summer boating season, here are two vital reminders for your safety: wearing life jackets and being aware of the "silent killer".

Life Jackets/Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs)

All vessels except sailboards and certain racing shells or rowing skulls must have at least one wearable Type I, II, III or V life jacket (PFD) that is U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) approved and of the proper size for each person on board.

Life jackets must be readily accessible, in good and serviceable condition, and sized for the intended wearer. In addition to the above requirements, vessels 16 feet in length or longer, except a canoe or kayak, must have one Type IV USCG approved throwable flotation device on board and readily accessible.

All children 12 years of age and younger must wear a USCG-approved Type I, II, III life jacket (PFD) anytime while underway on any vessel. The life jacket must be worn according to the design of the manufacturer's recommended use and must fit the child properly. All snaps must be snapped, and zippers and fasteners closed.

Each person on a personal watercraft such as a Jet Ski or Wave Runner must wear a USCG approved Type I, II, III PFD (life jacket) with all fasteners and closures secured according to the manufacturer's design and recommended use. Further, the life jacket must be adjusted for a snug fit.

Each person being towed behind a vessel on water skis or a similar device must wear a life jacket or buoyant belt. Note, however, that buoyant belts are not approved by the USCG.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide poisoning is also known as the "silent killer". It is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is very toxic even in small quantities. It is produced when a carbon fuel, such as gasoline or diesel is burned. Carbon monoxide disperses freely through the air and will travel readily throughout a boat. It is discharged as engine, generator, or appliance exhaust that may re-enter your boat through any opening.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are throbbing temples, inattentiveness or lack of concentration, inability to think coherently, ringing in the ears, tightness across the chest, headache, drowsiness, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, vomiting, collapse, and convulsions. Protect yourself from the silent killer and download the carbon monoxide brochure at


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