Safety on the Water Begins with You - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/30/03

Safety on the Water Begins with You

"That was way too close!" says Garza County Constable, Daniel Yarbro pointing to jet skiers as they miss hitting each other head on by mere inches. "Girls, y'all try to carry a little bit farther apart, ok?" he says. He says it's carelessness like this on the water that contributes to fatal accidents. Like the one earlier this week at Lake LBJ.

"A lot of things we see is people just not knowing that you can't do these sorts of things."Yarbro patrols Lake Alan Henry making sure people are having fun while doing it safely. "Our main job on the water is to look for public safety, make sure everyone is safe enjoying their time, nobody's having any trouble," says Yarbro.

He says accidents here are few and far between, because most boaters take proper precautions. Like staying away from other boats. "I try not to get within 50 yards of another boat if I can because you never know what a wake will do," says boat enthusiast, Jim Adkins.

Constable Yarbro says when driving a boat, drive defensively like you would in your car, be aware of your surroundings at all times and most importantly be aware of other drivers. "Anything can happen out here, it's not like the streets of Lubbock or Post. There's no directional out here you go where you want to."

When cruising at night, keep your lights on to make sure you're seen by other boats. "Texas parks and wildlife game wardens work the lake at night and they will visit with you if you don't have your lights on," says Yarbro.

Most importantly wear a life jacket. "When you're on a lake it's not whether or not you can swim across, it's whether or not you can fall out of a boat hit your head and swim across so you may as well wear a jacket all the time," says boat enthusiast, Mike Ponto.

A life jacket is the best piece of insurance a person could have if they're on the water."

A piece of insurance that might have saved Laura Putnam's life. Constable Yarbro says in the ten year history of Lake Alan Henry, there has been only one fatality due to a boating accident. And that happened seven years ago.

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