Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office urges caution at lakes as drownings increase

LAKE PLEASANT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - After dealing with more than 10 drownings this year at Lake Pleasant the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is urging those out on the water to be cautious. The lake division told Arizona’s Family they’ve dealt with more than 10 drownings so far this year.

In some of these cases, they said the driver of the boat left their vehicle and got into the water, but because of the stronger winds, it pushed their boat away before they can swim back. The sheriff’s office is urging people who are going out to the lake to wear life jackets. Another issue the Lake division has seen out on the waters is when monsoon storms hit, there is a mad dash at the boat ramp to get out. This situation has lead to the area getting crowded and has resulted in injuries.

“If you can’t get your boat out to beat the storm, go find yourself a safe haven at one of the coves. You don’t have to take your boat off the water. Sometimes these storm cells are relatively small or they pass so fast,” said detective Rob Marske with the Maricopa Sheriff’s Office. The low water levels at local lakes have caused problems for boaters out on the waters. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said they have seen several cases of people damaging their boats.

There is still plenty of water to boat in, and low levels during the summer are common. Since Lake Pleasant is a man-made lake, there are a lot of things like buildings and trees right under the surface of the water. It also can get much more shallow than boaters realize. There are buoys out in the water to mark these various obstacles and change regularly as the levels change.

If you aren’t careful you can damage your boat. ”If you don’t know what that color configuration is on that buoy, you have the potential of running the ground or striking the surface. That is your fault because you neglected to educate yourself on the bouts and markers,” said Detective Marske. The Sheriff’s Office said they’re seeing a lot of these cases with boaters who are new to the area.

Steven Sarabia

Steven Sarabia

Steven has traded in the Texas humidity for the Arizona dry heat. You can catch Steven tracking the weather during Good Morning Arizona on the weekends and covering the news on Good Morning Arizona during the week.