Game Wardens Urge Boaters to Put Safety First — It Saves Lives
The Memorial Day weekend marks the "official" beginning of the summer boating recreation season. With the promise of good weather, a lot of people will be out in their boats and recreational vehicles, and every available state Game Warden will be out there with them enforcing state boating safety laws.
The photograph you see with this story shows a group of people having a good time on their boat, but they're also doing a lot of things people should never do in a boat.
To begin with, no one is wearing a life jacket, and they appear to be drinking beer. The boat is also very close to being overloaded. They could be in trouble if a Game Warden sees them.
Even though boating fatalities have been decreasing in recent years, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department reports 12 people have died in boating accidents so far this year.
Game wardens have some safety tips boaters should always keep in mind.
They should always keep proper safety equipment onboard.
They should always wear a life jacket. In fact, state law requires boaters to have enough life jackets or flotation devices in the boat for every person on board.
And they should always drink responsibly and have a designated non-drinking operator for the boat.
People who enjoy "drinking and boating" should know that this weekend will be what is called a “no-refusal” weekend. That means anyone who refuses to take a breath-analysis test can be brought in for a blood sample.
Judges will be on call to issue search warrants for people under investigation for a boating while intoxicated or driving while intoxicated charge.
Texas is getting serious about boating safety, and boaters need to get serious about it too. Game Wardens say their "get tough" enforcement of Texas boating safety laws is the reason fewer people are dying on the state's waterways.