Designating a captain

Each excursion onto Lake Pleasant or Scorpion Bay can be an adventure, but careful preparation is crucial for everyone to be safe and keep their lake day joyful. Among the most important steps is to designate a captain, who makes sure that all members of your party stay safe and are where they are supposed to be throughout the day. Never been a caption before? No problem. Here are a few things the captain must do to keep your crew safe.

1. Keep a headcount: It sounds simple, but keeping an ongoing head count during the day is a great way to make sure everyone is safe and everyone makes it home at the end of the day.

2. Understand the signs: Whether it’s your first or 100th time driving a boat or jet ski, make sure you are familiar with the safety signs and buoys at the lake. Understanding “No-wake zones,” shallow-water signs and the direction you drive on the lake are crucial to keeping not only your group and boat safe but also others on the water.

3. Avoid alcohol: As the captain and driver of the boat, jet ski or watercraft, have a clear head so you can keep others safe. Stay hydrated, especially here in the desert, by drinking water throughout the day even if you aren’t thirsty.

4. Scan, scan, scan: Whether it’s the parking lot when you’re pulling in, or a constant scan on the water when you’re driving the boat, always be aware of others around you and take extra precaution to prevent accidents and injury.

5. Watch the weather: Weather conditions can change rapidly at Lake Pleasant and other Arizona lakes. If there is any chance of inclement weather, be sure to be up to date on forecasts at the National Weather Service website. Also, if you are on a watercraft, make sure to make your way to the docks before weather conditions become dangerous.

6. Lifejackets save lives: There is no way to sugar coat this: No matter your age or swimming ability, wear a lifejacket when you are riding on or driving a jet ski, or while on a boat. State and federal laws require children 13 and younger 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. Many tragedies at the lake could have been prevented if an adult had a lifejacket on. As the captain, insist that your friends and family, even the adults, are as safe as possible throughout the day. Scorpion Bay will allow you to borrow a lifejacket for any member of your group if you do not have one.

Good luck, captains! Lake Pleasant lives up to its name when visitors take the time to properly prepare for the adventure as well as the unknown that may arise.

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.