Last year 39 people in Texas died in boating related accidents. With the busy boating season kicking off this Memorial Day weekend, game wardens will be out in full force making sure you boat safe.
Game Warden, Quentin Terrel says, "Can I see your registration card, fire extinguisher, and a life jacket for everybody?" as he pulls up on a boater at Buffalo Springs Lake. Just having a life jacket in the boat isn't enough, they all have to fit properly. Terrel adds, "Then on the length of the boat they have to have a throwable device of some sort, a square throw cushion or ring bouy."
All boats must have a properly charged fire extinguisher and a horn or sound device and jet skis are no exception, but one rule is different. Terrel says, "You can't wear one of these (inflatable) type jackets on a jet ski. If any water hits it, it deploys and on a jet ski you're gonna get wet."
Jet ski or boat, whatever your preference you can be stopped for excessive speed or for not obeying rules when it come to other watercraft or people. Terrel says, "Be aware of the 50 foot rule. You can't be within any fixed or moving object or an individual or other boats over headway speed... over idle speed on a jet ski."
No matter what speed you're moving, wardens will pull you over if they suspect you've been drinking. From there it's back to shore for a field sobriety test.
When night falls, there are more rules. All boats must be properly lit, jet skis cannot operate and water skiing is not allowed.
For more on boating safety (click here).