Boating safety tips for busy lake season

Boating safety tips for busy lake season

LUBBOCK, Texas -

 

Texas lakes are busy year-round, but there are more boaters from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

If you enjoy your time on a speed boat, pontoon, jet ski or kayak, there are rules.

According to Captain Aryn Corley with Texas Parks and Wildlife, his number one rule, wear a life jacket.

"I do not get onto any boat without my life jacket, 100 percent. A life jacket saved my life while I was on patrol one time so my number one tip is wear a life jacket, even if you are a good swimmer," Corley said.

If you're 13 years or older, you don't have to wear it on the boat, but you still need one that fits. 12 and younger, you must have one on at all times. 

Captain Corley's second piece of advice, tell someone where you plan to be.

"If something happens then they can notify us and if we have to come and do a search we can," he said.

His third, have a designated driver.

"Thankfully we are seeing an increase in the number of people using a designated driver," he stressed.

In Texas, boating while intoxicated holds the same consequences as a DWI. 

Another rule Corley stressed is the 50 foot rule. It is state law for a personal watercraft, like a jet ski, to be within 50 feet of an object or another boater.

"Those vehicles go so fast so quickly, that the 50 foot rule actually gives the operator especially inexperienced operators time to react," Corley described.

If an officer does an inspection on your boat, Corley said they're checking to make sure there's a registration card, life jackets, a throwable flotation device, fire extinguisher and sound producing device.

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