By Cris McSparen, Scorpion Bay Marina General Manager
Spending days with those we love at Lake Pleasant enjoying the idyllic lake views, the cool water and the warm Phoenix sun is top of many people’s lists. With the recent crowds it is always a good idea to keep in mind some important safety tips to ensure a trip to the lake is enjoyed by all. As you make your way to Scorpion Bay Marina, here are seven tips to follow for a safe and enjoyable lake adventure:
1. Arrive Early
Spring and Summer are some 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 in case there are closures 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 everyone 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 water craft for everyone on board. It’s important to be safe at all times!
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-oz. 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 sun glasses— along with reducing activity during the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. are all parts of staying hydrated. Urine should be a pale-yellow color; if it is dark, your body is telling you to drink more fluids. 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. According to the Maricopa County Parks & Recreation Department, even if a wash is currently dry, rushing water could potentially be unexpectedly headed to them at any time. 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 harboring your yacht (or dinghy). Come for the fishing or come for the frolicking—either way, incredible mountain views, fantastic dining and world-class marina services await less than an hour out of Phoenix. https://www.scorpionbayaz.com/