Game wardens urge safety over holiday

As people flock to area lakes and rivers, Texas Game Wardens are focused on making your holiday experiences safe and enjoyable.  Whether you are boating or swimming at a public lake or river, there are some State Laws and information you should be aware of:

 Boat operators who are impaired by alcohol are a factor in 21% of boating fatalities.  A person can be arrested for Boating While Intoxicated if he or she is impaired by drugs or alcohol or has a blood alcohol content of .08 or above while operating a vessel.   In addition, any person on a boat can be arrested for public intoxication if he presents a danger to himself or others.

 84% of drowning victims in a recreational boating accident were not wearing a life jacket.  A US Coast Guard approved personal flotation device is required for every person on board a boat regardless of length.  Children under 13 years of age are required to wear a PFD on boats under 26 ft in length while the boat is underway. Boats 16ft and over are required to have a US Coast Guard approved type IV (throwable device).  Current registration and certificate of number are required on all motorboats.  Fire extinguishers are required on most motorboats. Lights are required after sunset.

 77% of fatalities occurred on boats where the operator did not have boater safety instruction.  Boater education is required for anyone born after September 1, 1993 for operating a personal watercraft or motorboat over 15hp or a windblown vessel over 14 ft.

Swimming is a nice way to cool off on the 4th.  Remember that lake depths are unpredictable and dangerous, especially for children.  A life jacket and close supervision is recommended for all children swimming in our lakes and rivers.  Once again, anyone who is intoxicated and considered a danger to himself or others while on a public beach is subject to arrest.

Texas Game Wardens want you to celebrate 4th of July weekend in a safe responsible manner.

If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Eddie Hood or your local Game Warden, please call at 817-343-9114, or email Eddie at eddie.hood@tpwd.texas.gov

Texas Game Wardens are proud to serve the citizens of Texas and to fulfill its mission statement, which is to manage and conserve the natural and cultural resources of Texas and to provide hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation opportunities for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

Anyone who has information concerning a crime should contact their local Game Warden or the Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-792-GAME.