AZGFD urges everyone to wear a life jacket



AZGFD urges everyone to wear a life jacket

when recreating on waterways 

National Safe Boating Week begins Saturday, May 18 

The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) is urging everyone to wear a life jacket, and follow all safety regulations and laws this summer when recreating on Arizona’s waterways. 


“A life jacket does exactly what it says — it saves your life when you need it,” said Danny Rodriguez, watercraft law enforcement program coordinator. “However, it can only save your life if you’re wearing one, and often it’s too late to put one on once you realize you need it.” 


According to U.S. Coast Guard statistics, in cases where the cause of death has been determined, 85% of drowning victims in recreational boating accidents were not wearing a life jacket. AZGFD wants to stress the importance of wearing a life jacket and focusing on safe boating practices as the busy boating season gets underway.


To promote the use of life jackets, as well as kick off National Safe Boating Week on Saturday,  AZGFD and partner agencies will conduct a life jacket exchange that day and again May 25. Those who have an old, worn out, or improperly fitting life jacket will be able to exchange it for a new one, free of charge (while supplies last). 


“Like anything else, life jackets wear out with time, and these exchange events are a great opportunity for Arizona’s boaters and paddlers to ensure they have a life jacket that not only fits correctly, but is in great condition and ready should they need it,” said Josh Hoffman, boating safety education coordinator.


Exchange locations Saturday, May 18:  

  • Bartlett Lake: Jojoba ramp, 8 a.m.-noon.
  • Canyon Lake: main ramp, 8 a.m.-noon.
  • Lake Pleasant: 10-lane ramp, 8 a.m.-noon.
  • Patagonia Lake: marina ramp, 8 a.m.-noon.
  • Saguaro Lake: main ramp, 8 a.m.-noon.
  • Tempe Town Lake: marina ramp, 8 a.m.-noon.
  • Bullhead City: Eagle Motorsports, 2106 AZ-Hwy. 95, store hours.
  • Bullhead City: Fire Station #2, 1230 Hwy. 95, 9 a.m.-11 a.m.
  • Bullhead City: Rotary Park, 2315 Balboa Drive, 9-11 a.m.
  • Lake Havasu City: London Bridge Beach Stage, 10 a.m.-noon.
  • Parker: La Paz County Sheriff’s Boating Safety Building, 8484 Riverside Drive, 9 a.m.-noon.
  • Yuma: 10882 N. Fishers Landing, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Exchange locations Saturday, May 25

  • Parker Canyon Lake: main ramp, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.  
  • Patagonia Lake: marina ramp, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. 

Additional exchange location June 1-2:

  • Lake Havasu City: Havasu Riviera, 2067 Havasu Riviera Parkway, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

Additional exchange location June 15, July 20, Aug. 18:

  • Bullhead City: Eagle Motorsports, 2106 AZ-Hwy. 95, store hours.

Note: Type 1 and Type II life jackets will not be accepted; only ski-type life jackets are eligible for exchange. 


AZGFD conserves and protects 800-plus wildlife species without any general fund tax dollars. Your support makes our science-based work possible. Donate today.