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Commentary: Play It Safe

As many of you read this, I will be embarking on a half-day drive to Lake Havasu City, Ariz., with Matt Trulio, my co-publisher at speedonthewater.com, for the annual Desert Storm Poker Run, one of the coolest events of the year in my book.

desertstorm pack sotw

While Lake Havasu brings to mind some fond memories—from boating on the lake as a teenager with my grandparents to testing boats as a 30-plus-year-old alongside Bob Teague and John Tomlinson for Powerboat magazine—it also reminds me of some melancholy incidents. While I was in high school, my friend’s brother drowned after jumping off a cliff into the lake, and last year I reported on a couple of boaters who are lucky to be alive after a scary incident during the poker run (read the story).

Remembering last year’s crash and the craziness surrounding the questions that inevitably arise—what boat flipped, who was in it, are they OK, and many more—isn’t enjoyable, but it does make me want to write about being safe on the water. I know there are only so many things that can be said, such as wear life jackets, have a designated sober operator, maintain safe speeds for the conditions, etc., but it really comes down to using your head.

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