(KCBD) - Information from Texas Parks and Wildlife
As spring break approaches and temperatures rise, activity increases at area lakes. As such, game wardens are doing everything they can to make it a safe start to boating season and encourage the public to stay aware on the water.
Spring break is a great time to re-familiarize yourself with the proper required safety equipment. One of the more important items to have on a boat is a U.S. Coast Guard approved personal floatation device, also known as a life jacket.
While boating accidents can be caused by a variety of circumstances, including drinking while boating, surviving an accident on the water boils down to one important precaution: wearing a lifejacket. U.S. Coast Guard statistics show that drowning was the reported cause of death in 3/4 of recreational boating fatalities in 2015 and that 85 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets.
Additionally, state law requires that a personal floatation device is available for each occupant of the boat, and children under 13 years of age are mandated by law to wear one while the boat is underway.
Whether you plan on boating, riding a jet ski, swimming, or kayaking, please be aware of your surroundings. The public can find which items are required on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website: https://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/pwdpubs/pwd_br_l2000_0001/
Another way to learn about water safety laws is by going online and completing a Texas Boater safety course. It is mandatory for anyone born on or after Sept. 1, 1993 to obtain a boater's education certificate before they can legally operate a vessel.