“Leave the Driving to Us” on Western Arizona’s Colorado River
The idea of hiring your own captain may sound expensive, but on Western Arizona’s Lake Havasu, home of the famed London Bridge, it’s surprisingly affordable. What’s more, the Lake Havasu Marine Association’s new Designated Captain program can make a day on the water a whole lot safer.
For a cost of $200 to $300 per day, six licensed U.S. Coast Guard captains certified to provide for-hire boat driving services to the general public, are available totake boaters out on either privately owned or rental boats to explore the area’s 60 continuous miles of lake and river waterways.
“National awareness about the hazards of drunk automobile driving has translated to the water where there’s even less margin for error,” said Capt. Joe Fiumara of the Lake Havasu City Police Department.
“Efforts by commercial interests to work with law enforcement to reduce the instances of OUI (Operating Under Influence) are greatly appreciated. The result we all seek is more people safely returning home after their visit. OUI violations are decreasing and we’re very pleased about that,” said Capt. Fiumara.
Adds Jim Salscheider, president and CEO of the Lake Havasu Marine Association, “Designated Captains is a logical and much needed next step in our effort to minimize the number of intoxicated boat operators on the water, especially on busy holiday weekends.
“Thankfully, an increasing number of boaters understand the seriousness involved while operating a boat under the influence of excessive alcohol or drugs. Hiring a sober Coast Guard captain to do the driving for them reduces the chance of trouble,” Salscheider says.
Besides eliminating the possibility of OUI violations, Designated Captains also provide local knowledge of the Colorado River waterways.
“Many boaters coming here are novices who are not familiar with Lake Havasu, its rules and geography, or even how to properly launch. Having licensed captains available for hire removes that deterrent from renting and significantly improves the on-water safety factor for all concerned,” says Salscheider.
Adds Capt. Fiumara, “Designated safety programs are supported by law enforcement and local restaurants and bars working together to ensure the waterways are safer without taking away the fun of being out there.”
To access a list of captains, go to www.designatedoperatorlhma.com. Rates are negotiable depending on service hours and number of passengers.
The Designated Captain program is sponsored by Romer Beverage Company of Kingman/Lake Havasu City, AZ and Teague Custom Marine, Valencia, California.