Coast Guard Auxiliary asking Arizonans to be safe on the water this holiday weekend

PEORIA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Lakes will be packed for the long holiday weekend, and volunteers with the Coast Guard Auxiliary want people to be prepared.

The first thing you will notice is the heat over the next few days. With temperatures well above 100 degrees, Kimijo Mareska with the Coast Guard Auxiliary is asking people to hydrate before heading out. “It’s really fun there will be a lot of people, a lot of boats. Lot of fun things going. Just drink plenty of water. Drink water all day long that’s just something you have to do.”

Mareska says eight people drowned at Lake Pleasant this summer. She says six of them would have survived if they wore a life jacket or if someone threw them a flotation device. They can be the difference between life and death. “Don’t be afraid to use them and think you look like a geek wearing them,” she said.

You can also expect to see more people on kayaks, jet skis and boats in the water this long weekend. That means there will likely be more inexperienced boaters. Captain Matt Finney of the Lake Pleasant Cruises says you must pay attention to what’s happening around you.

“Unfortunately in Arizona there aren’t any regulations on requiring to have a license to drive boats out here so people come out here with no experience so it can get a little crazy. I watch out for everybody but you ask everybody else to do the same thing,” said Finney.

If you have an emergency on the water, you can call 911. There will be officials patrolling Saguaro Lake and Lake Pleasant this weekend, and they will be able to help you.

Michael Raimondi

Michael Raimondi

Michael Raimondi was born in Methuen, Massachusetts. Growing up just 25 miles north of Boston, Michael is a BIG Boston sports fan. He is now adopting our Arizona teams to cheer on.