AUSTIN – The slips and boat ramps of Texas will quickly buzz with exercise as Fourth of July weekend approaches. Texas Parks and Wildlife Division (TPWD) reminds boaters to observe primary security precautions whereas on the water.
Recreation wardens will be a part of america Coast Guard and 1000’s of regulation enforcement officers on heightened alert for violations as a part of Operation Dry Water, a nationally coordinated enforcement marketing campaign centered on deterring boating beneath the affect of medicine or alcohol.
“Should you’re working a ship beneath the affect of medicine or alcohol, you’re placing folks in danger,” mentioned Cody Jones, TPWD Assistant Commander for Marine Enforcement. “Sadly, we see it time and time once more – vacation celebrations that finish in accidents or fatalities brought on by unsafe boating practices.”
Final 12 months, wardens arrested 42 for Boating Whereas Intoxicated (BWI) over the Fourth of July weekend and filed eight different fees for Driving Whereas Intoxicated (DWI). They issued 1,474 citations and 1,797 warnings for numerous boating security regulation violations.
“Texas Recreation Wardens can be out in power to assist boaters return to land safely,” Jones mentioned. “However assist us do our job by being ready and making smart decisions.”
Statewide, accidents and fatalities peak between the months of Might and August, particularly on weekends. Among the many prime contributors: operator inattention, careless/reckless operation, inexperience, and alcohol use.
Texas state regulation requires every occupant of a ship or paddle craft have entry to a life jacket. Youngsters beneath 13 should put on one whereas the boat or paddle craft is underway or drifting.
“Put on a life jacket, know learn how to swim and intently supervise kids,” mentioned Kimberly Sorensen, TPWD Boating Schooling Supervisor. “Know the principles of the waterway. These are some easy however extraordinarily efficient methods to extend water security.”
Go to TPWD’s boating laws web site for extra details about boating security, legal guidelines and necessities.