LITTLE ROCK – Family picnics, fireworks and being on the water
all are things associated with the Fourth of July. One more thing
should be added to that list – safety. According to Bob Cushing,
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Boating Education Program
coordinator, this is one of the busiest and most dangerous times on
“Thousands of people hit the water on the Fourth for a day in
the sun and fireworks displays, but many do so without fully
preparing for the trip,” Cushing said. “The most important piece of
safety equipment is a life jacket. More specifically, there should
be a properly fitting life jacket for everyone on board. By law,
all children 12 and under must have their life jacket secured any
time they are on the boat, but everyone should wear them any time a
boat is underway.”
According to Stephanie Weatherington, the AGFC’s boating law
administrator, life jackets aren’t the only items a boater needs to
check while preparing for a day on the water.
“Prior to going out on the water, boaters need to check their
navigation lights,” she said. “People are out watching fireworks
displays at night, and do not think about needing lights until it
is dark. Always take a spotlight or flashlight, just in case.”
Holiday Weekend Safety Tips
Wear a life jacket.
Before going out on the water, check your navigation lights, fire
extinguisher and safety gear.
Pay attention to other boaters.
Don’t drink and operate a boat. If there is going to be drinking,
make sure there is a designated driver. Officers will be out in
Lakes will be crowded. Slow down and be cautious.