Don’t Wreck Your Weekend

By Emily Fromelt, Investigative Assistant and Public Information
for Bullhead City Police Department

Don’t Wreck Your Weekend. That’s the message we hope sends waves this summer.

The Bullhead City Police and Fire Departments, Western Arizona Regional Medical Center (WARMC), Mohave County Parks and the City of Bullhead City kicked off the “Don’t Wreck Your Weekend” campaign this summer to promote boating safety.

“The biggest responsibility as a trauma center is to get the information out to the community to actually prevent those injuries from occurring to begin with,” said WARMC Emergency Room Director Mandy Doumit, who recalls treating watercraft injuries from bumps and scrapes to injuries resulting in fatalities. “That’s what our goal is with this campaign.”
People come here to enjoy the cool water of our scenic Colorado River and they don’t realize that life can change in a second. We urge people to pay attention, wear their life vest and to be a sober operator.

The Bullhead City Police Department responds to approximately 50 watercraft accidents every summer on the river. One common violation is of the “proximity law,” where watercraft must remain 60 feet apart from each other and the shoreline when maneuvering above a wake-less speed. Our boating officers often see personal watercraft play and splash each other and do not realize how easy it is to collide. Another common

cause of accidents occurs when people travel on the wrong side of the river. The order of traffic on the river is the same as the traffic pattern on the roadway.
Remember: stay right, boats can’t brake and keep your distance. It is important for operators, particularly people renting personal watercraft, to know their vessel and the rules of the waterway. In an effort to help make our waterways safe, all rental consumers are mandated to watch a safety video before they operate a personal watercraft on the Colorado River. This safety video can be viewed by anyone on YouTube: https://youtu.be/YUHPMVHKuqY or on the Bullhead City Police Department’s Facebook page. Please prepare yourself for our busy boating season and have a safe summer!