Baxter Co. Sheriff’s Office share safety tips for summer season


As summer approaches and people start heading out to lakes and rivers for water activities, the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind the public take precautions and have safety measures in place.

Arkansas State Law requires a boater safety card to operate a vessel in Arkansas Waterways. Anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1986, and of legal age to operate a motorboat or sailboat, must have successfully completed an approved Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) Boating Education Course and carry proof while operating a motorboat or sailboat on Arkansas water.

To operate a motorboat powered by an engine of 10 horsepower or more, a person must be 12 or older, or be under the direct supervision of a person at least 18 years old. To operate a personal watercraft, a person must be 16 or older, be 12 to 15 years old and be under the direct supervision of a person at least 18 years old or be under 12 and be under the direct supervision of a person at least 21 years old.

Officials would like to remind boaters to always use life jackets and to be mindful of their surroundings, especially when it comes to children running around in camping and swimming areas. They advise drivers to stick to the speed limit and be extra cautious. Officials also urge boaters not to operate their vehicles or boats after drinking. Law enforcement will also increase patrols in and around campgrounds to ensure the safety of residents and visitors alike.

In addition, boaters, campers, and hikers should secure their property from theft by not leaving their keys or fishing equipment on their boat unattended. Every year, thousands of dollars of fishing equipment and watercraft are stolen from unsecured docks, so officials encourage people to take precautions to prevent becoming the victim of an avoidable crime.

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