Yuma, Arizona - The warm weather is definitely on its way and water recreation is on a lot of “to do” lists. Make sure that safety is at the top of that list! With temperatures on the rise, water recreation might be on your mind. The Yuma area has lots of great opportunities. Please remember that in natural waterways things change, sometimes very quickly. Here are a few tips to help you to more safely enjoy Yuma’s natural water recreation opportunities.

Be sure of your equipment. Always wear a Coast Guard approved Personal Flotation Device (PFD) when you are boating, and inflatable “pool toys” are not “approved” PFDs.

Even adults should never swim alone. Always use the “buddy system”. Never leave children unsupervised around water, and this is even more critical around rivers and lakes. It is especially important for children to wear PFDs.

Be careful of your footing. Drop-offs, holes, and underwater snags can be dangerous. Sand bars on the river can be a particular hazard, as sand may shift and currents may be fast. Children especially should keep PFDs on while on sand bars.

Alcohol abuse can increase a person’s risk of drowning. Alcohol can impair judgment and perception. You want to stay hydrated, but avoid heavily sugared, caffeinated, or alcoholic beverages. “Tubing” on the river (or taking advantage of other local water recreation activities) can be a lot of fun, with the right equipment and taking the proper precautions! Safety is no accident!

For more information about fire and injury prevention classes we offer, contact the Yuma Fire Department Public Information Office at 928-373-4855.