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Boat safety tips to prevent accidents on the water

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - 6:24pm

East Texas has been having nice weather and we're seeing many East Texans are taking out their boats.

Game Wardens with Texas Parks and Wildlife want folks to keep safety in mind for early boating season to prevent accidents on the water.

Game Warden Dustin Dockery says boat traffic is starting to pick up. "We are just out there reminding people early on to check for the required safety equipment." They want boaters to make sure they have life jackets for each person on the boat. "Children under 13 need to be in one anytime the boat is moving, as well as a throwable, which is considered a Type 4 life jacket that can be thrown to somebody that is in distressed, also check for a fire extinguisher," said Dockery. He says make sure the fire extinguisher is working.

Roy Miller of Tyler always thinks about safety first before taking his boat out. "Having your life jackets in your boat having your bildge pump, or something to bail water if you have to and also watching out for the wind when it's real strong because you can get caught out in the wind and you can tip your boat over."

"Pay close attention to other boaters, making sure they're paying attention to you just like driving," said Jonathan Jones, Lake Tyler boater.

According to state law, if a passenger is more than the age of 13, it's up to the boat operator on whether everyone in the boat wears a life jacket at all times. "So we are out there just watching the boat traffic, educating the public, and as the summer progresses and the activity picks up we are also out there enforcing the BWI's which is Boating While Intoxicated," said Dockery.

Dockery says, there have been fatalities at lakes outside the Lake Tyler area. "Boat traffic is obviously picking up on all the surrounding waters we already had three fatalities, three drownings that could have been preventable, these people did have life-jackets in the boat they just were not wearing them at the time of the accident."

To learn more about Boat Safety click the link below:

Texas Parks and Wildlfie Department

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