Texas boaters see fewer Memorial Day safety concerns, game wardens say

Texas boaters enjoyed a safer Memorial Day weekend this year than last, the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife said.

Game wardens issued fewer boating-related citations over the holiday weekend than in 2021 and the department attributes the decrease to greater safety awareness and increased patrolling by officers maritime security.

Between Friday and Monday, 352 game wardens conducted 10,218 vessel security checks, issuing 62 fewer citations than in 2021, the department said in a news release.

However, game wardens still responded to six drownings and 15 boating accidents on bodies of water across the state. At Grapevine Lake, the body of a man was found on Memorial Day after his drowning was reported.

Memorial Day weekend is a time when first responders and healthcare workers expect more drownings. Experts say being trained in water safety and first aid can save lives, because seconds count when someone begins to drown.

“Unfortunately, drownings and deaths on the water are a painful reality that our game wardens have to deal with on holiday weekends,” Texas Game Warden Col. Chad Jones said in a statement. written.

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Over the weekend, game wardens rescued capsized boaters, including 13 people they pulled from the water on one lake and 16 people on another lake, some of whom were not wearing life jackets .

“If you are a new boater, learn the safety equipment required for your boat, use your engine cut-off switch, avoid alcohol while boating, and be aware of carbon monoxide even on open-air motorboats “said Kimberly Sorensen, boater education manager. The version.

Game wardens also worked on a cliff jumping injury that resulted in a fractured femur and broke up a fight in a swimming area, among other incidents.

Jones said the department is proud of the progress it has made in reducing boating incidents, but awareness and education must continue to keep more people safe.

“I want to commend those who conducted themselves in a safe and responsible manner over what is always a busy weekend,” Jones said. “Our game wardens have been really focused on raising boating safety awareness over the past year, and I think we’re starting to see the fruits of that effort.”

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