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Beaver Lake Boating Accidents Down from 2012

ROGERS, AR -- Labor Day marks the end of summer for many and with the close of the holiday weekend, Rangers on Beaver Lake are calling this summer a safety success.
ROGERS, AR -- Labor Day marks the end of summer for many and with the close of the holiday weekend, Rangers on Beaver Lake are calling this summer a safety success.

There's more than 100 days in the summer season stretching across 487 miles of Beaver Lake shoreline, and with just 5 boating accidents this season, Rangers are seeing progress.

"Unfortunately, last year we were number one in the state for boating accidents," says Alan Bland, with the Army Corps of Engineers.

It's a statistic Ranger Bland wanted to change in the natural state with 21 Beaver Lake accidents in 2012.

"We've stepped up not only enforcement but education."

And now the payoff is visible.

"Boating season has been pretty good as far as number of accidents. We're down this year compared to last year."

And the smooth sailing because of more boots on the ground.

"All the rangers have been working the boat ramps a lot, giving out boating regulations and water safety items for them wearing their life jackets."

Rules that stand as the first line of defense against disaster.

"When you're out on the lake the last thing you want to worry about is rules and regulations. There's no double yellow lines, there's no stop signs out there."

The Army Corps of Engineers also launched a life jacket campaign this summer called "Wear It".

"I think education is finally catching up with some of them."

But more importantly, Rangers are seeing less beer around the pier.

"We've not seen that this year, even with the county going wet, we thought we might have an increase, but so far we have not."

According to Rangers, alcohol plays a role in about half the accidents on the lake.

"There's usually been 15 to 30 per year. We're at 4-5 right now so team effort there. Education, enforcement it makes a difference," says Bland.

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