The Arizona Game and Fish Department wants to remind all boaters, anglers, and personal watercraft users that this year’s boating season has arrived and to exercise safe, responsible practices when on the water.

Safe boating recreation is a must, and everyone should check their boats, personal watercraft and all equipment before launching at lakes or waterways.

Make sure you have all required safety equipment, such as proper life jackets and working fire extinguishers. The Arizona Game and Fish Department is also a resource for education and training when it comes to water sports, including all paddle sports.

Arizona had its first fatal boating accident earlier this month when an experienced kayaker traversing a remote area on the East Verde River drowned on March 9.

The incident is a reminder that weather and water conditions can present challenging circumstances for even the most experienced kayakers or paddleboaters.

For a list of helpful safety tips, visit www.americancanoe.org/?page=Top_10.

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