Texas Game Wardens Send Safety Warning Before Boating Season Begins - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/21/05

Texas Game Wardens Send Safety Warning Before Boating Season Begins

Last year there were more than 200 boating accidents in Texas, 35 of those were fatal. That's why Texas Game Wardens want you to keep safety in mind before you head out to the lake, especially next weekend for Memorial Day festivities.

On Memorial Day weekend you can expect to see Game Wardens patrolling the waters of Buffalo Springs Lake and Lake Alan Henry.

"Big weekend, everybody's out here having a good time and we want everybody to have a good time but we want everyone to be safe at the same time," says Texas Game Warden Quentin Terrel.

As for children, that means wearing a life jacket. "Any time you have a child aboard any kind of craft they need to have a life preserver on if they are 12 years of age or younger, and that's an absolute, and that's not a very flexible issue with us," says Game Warden Mark Collins.

As for adults, "don't have too much and then get behind the wheel," says Terrel.

It's not against the law to have alcohol in a boat, but the operator can not be intoxicated with a blood alcohol level over .08.

"That's one thing we are really cautious about and look for because it contributes to a lot of boating accidents," says Terrel.

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Making a Kit for an Emergency Situation
When preparing for a possible emergency situation, it's best to think first about the basics of survival: fresh water, food, clean air and warmth.

If there is an accident, it's important to have the proper safety equipment. That's why when you're operating a water craft there are several things you need on board. The first is a noise maker like a horn, the second is a life jacket for everyone on board, the third is a fire extinguisher and last, you need a throwable floating device.

If you are missing any of these items, Game Wardens will issue you a ticket. If you are cited for boating while intoxicated, you can face jail time and be fined as much as $2,000. As for children caught without life jackets, their parents face a fine of up to $500.

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