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Boating Safety Encouraged During Summer

Jul 03, 2013 03:25PM ● By tina

Texas Parks and Wildlife encourages lake lovers to boat safely.

Boating Safety No Laughing Matter: Don't Become a Statistic, Warns TPWD

Submitted by Jo Trizila

Summer is in full swing and so is boating season for Texans across the state. Thousands will enjoy time on the water with family and friends, but what begins as fun will sadly turn to tragedy for some -- an accidental drowning or potentially life-changing injury.

To prevent mishaps -- or worse, becoming a grim statistic -- Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TWPD) wants to remind everyone to practice safe boating while spending time on area lakes and offers the following boating safety tips: 

•   Always wear a life jacket or personal flotation device (PFD). Most boating fatality victims were not wearing a PFD. Always carry PFDs in both adult and child sizes. Children younger than age 13 must wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved PFD while underway.

•   Avoid alcohol. The probability of being killed in a boating accident doubles when alcohol is involved. Operating a boat under the influence is just as dangerous as driving a car when you've been drinking. Boating while intoxicated (BWI) is strictly enforced and carries penalties similar to driving, including possible Driver's License suspension.

•   Be especially careful on personal watercrafts (PWC). PWC operators and passengers must wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved PFD. Before borrowing or renting a PWC, take the time to learn how to operate the vessel and the rules of the waterway. Obey the 50-foot rule! Maintain a 50-foot distance from other PWCs, vessels, persons, shore, or stationary platform or other object unless operating at headway (idle) speed.

•   Enroll in a boater education class. For class information, visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Boater Education Web pages or call 800-792-1112.

•   Don't overload your boat.

•   Operate at a safe speed. Use common sense, especially in crowded areas. A person must be able to bring the boat to a safe stop within the assured clear distance ahead.

•   Always have a passenger serve as a lookout in addition to the operator.

•   Watch out for low water areas or submerged objects.

These tips and more detailed information are available by visiting TWPD's Boat Safety.

Another opportunity to learn more about water safety is at the 2013 DFW Boat Expo. TWPD will have a booth at the expo, coming to Dallas Market Hall, July 18-21.

The expo, presented by the United Boat Dealers of North Texas, will be the largest event of its kind ever staged at Dallas Market Hall. Over 450 boats and watercraft will be on display and available for purchase. Twenty North Texas boat dealers and nearly 100 different vendors will take part. 

About Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department provides outdoor recreational opportunities by managing and protecting fish and wildlife and their habitat and by acquiring and managing parks, historic sites, wildlife areas, and fish hatcheries. Over the years it has inherited the functions of many state entities created to protect Texas' natural and cultural resources. Largely user-funded, TPWD works diligently to listen to customers and adjust programs and services to meet their needs. TPWD headquarters is located at 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744. State parks, wildlife management areas, fish hatcheries, and field offices are located across the state. For more information, visit Texas Parks and Wildlife.  


About The United Boat Dealers of North Texas

The United Boat Dealers of North Texas will produce boat shows based on the needs and desires of participating Boat Dealers, Industry Related Exhibitors and the General public, in an attempt to provide a profitable and cost effective sales venue that will…Support the Boating and Marine Industry in the Greater North Texas Area. Bring Together people with a common interest in the Boating Lifestyle. Promote further and encourage the Boating Lifestyle through education and outreach programs. Provide each exhibitor with a fair and equally opportunity to conduct business with the general public. All United Boat Dealers of North Texas Boat Shows will always be under the guidelines of Dealer/Exhibitor/Public needs first, with overall show success for this group the Major Priority.