The Edmond Sun
It’s the first weekend since Arcadia Lake reopened, and officials want to remind guests that rules are rules whether you’re on the road or on the water.
Friday afternoon, when the temperature was about 90 degrees, guests were out enjoying the water boating, skiing, “tubing” and swimming. Temperatures during the next week are expected to be in the low to mid 90s. The lake is at the level it was before the May 31 flash flooding.
“It will most likely be a busy weekend,” said Edmond Police Department spokeswoman Jenny Monroe. “Boat drivers need to stay alert, watch out for others.”
Monroe said parents need to make sure children age 12 and younger have on a personal floatation device. There is a zero tolerance policy while in the water or on a boat. The fine is $119, Monroe said.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Betsy Randolph said people think boats aren’t as dangerous as cars, but they are more so. The effects of alcohol are greater in the water than on land because of dehydration and exposure to the elements.
Eighty percent of boating fatalities involved operators with no boating safety education, according to the OHP. Knowing boating laws and navigational rules before you go to the lake can help prevent costly and tragic accidents.
“Don’t mix boating with alcohol,” Randolph said.
A 2011 state law — Senate Bill 324 —changed the blood alcohol level from .10 to .08 on the water, making it the same threshold as the road. This also affects implied consent where boaters are required to provide a breath or blood test if they are arrested for BUI (boating under the influence). Randolph said OHP personnel arrest people for alcohol-related offenses every day on Oklahoma lakes.
Every vessel is required to carry one U.S. Coast Guard approved wearable life jacket for each person on board. Life jackets must be in good serviceable condition, fit the person who intends to wear it and be readily accessible.
Children age 12-16 are required by law to complete a boating safety class before operating a personal watercraft and/or a motorboat in excess of 10 horse-power.
ARCADIA LAKE RULES
Lake personnel said attendance has been good since the reopening. Water levels have receded this week. Arcadia Lake rules include:
• All pets must be penned, caged or kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet. They are prohibited in swimming areas, beaches and playgrounds;
• Diving is prohibited;
• Drivers must obey speed limit and warning signs;
• Fires are allowed only in designated areas. All campsites have a fire ring;
• Firearms, fireworks, BB guns, air rifles and explosives are prohibited;
• Personal watercraft (jet skis, wave runners, etc.) may be used only in designated areas. No towing;
• Persons under age 13 must wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device of proper size and fit when in the water. Randolph encouraged boaters to obtain and use proper devices;
• Skiing is allowed only in designated areas;
• Swim beaches close at sunset and re-open at sunrise;
• Swimming is allowed anywhere within 50 feet of the shore or a vessel as long as it is not within 150 feet of any dock or ramp; and
• Watercraft may be carried to the shore or may be launched from designated areas.
Laws regarding alcohol and drug use also apply to Arcadia Lake parks. For a complete list of rules and other information about Arcadia Lake, visit edmondok.com and then click on “City Services,” “Services H-Z,” “Parks & Recreation” and “Arcadia Lake.”
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