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Fewer Boating Accidents On Beaver Lake This Year

Posted: August 31, 2013 at 5 a.m.

Robb Morgan, left, buckles his life jacket before he and Andy Judkins ride their personal watercraft at Beaver Lake on Friday Aug. 30 2013. The men, both of Rogers, launched at the Arkansas 12 bridge boat ramp.

The water will likely be crowded on Beaver Lake this weekend, but accidents so far this year have been few.

At A Glance

Before Hitting the Water

• Lifejackets: Everyone onboard must have a life jacket. Children 12 and younger must wear a life jacket while on the vessel unless they are behind railings and the boat is stopped. Anyone being towed either on skis, an innertube or other device must be wearing a life jacket. Boats longer than 16 feet need to have a life ring that can be tossed overboard.

• Personal Watercraft: Anyone operating or riding personal watercraft is required to wear a life jacket. The operator is required to wear the ignition safety switch or “kill switch.”

• Passing: Boaters must give way to vessels that are anchored, disabled, sailboats or commercial fishing. If two power boats meet head on, both should keep to the right, or starboard, side.

• Fire Extinguishers: Vessels on federal waters are required to carry a fire extinguisher if there is an inboard engine, closed compartments housing fuel tanks or permanently installed fuel tanks.

• Alcohol: Boating with an alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent is considered boating under the influence. Anyone convicted will not be allowed to operate a motorboat for for 90 days and face a possible fine of $1,000 and up to a year of jail time.

Source: The Handbook of Arkansas Boating Laws and Responsibilities

At A Glance

Drowning Dangers

Several people have died in swimming accidents on Beaver Lake this year.

• David Hart, 20, of Springdale drowned May 25 while swimming with friends in the designated swimming area at the Rocky Branch Marina.

• Michael Burton, 28, drowned July 28 while free diving in Carroll County.

• Frank Robbins, 50, of Seligman Mo., drowned Aug. 6 after diving off a private dock in Dry Hollow Cove.

• Brandon Batchelor, 38, of Springdale, drowned Aug. 17 while swimming in “Party Cove” near Pine Top.

• Doug Jones, 60, of Rogers fell into the water Aug. 20 from a personal watercraft near Heritage Bay.

Source: Staff Report

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