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Warnings sent before holiday as boating deaths up this year

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boating deaths

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - If the weather allows there could be quite a bit of people on area lakes this Memorial Day weekend.

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department reports a 40% increase in boating-related deaths compared to this time last year. That follows last year, when the department reported a 30-year high.

“You can feel the energy in the air, and that’s good we want people to come out here and recreate,” Lt. Aaron Sims with TPWD, said.

That is why whistles or horns, throwable cushions, life jackets and fire extinguishers are required on boats. Along with current registration.

“And then, more importantly, anyone born on or after Sept. 1, 1993, they have to have a boater education class,” Sims said.

Last year, 55 boating related deaths were reported in the state, TPWD reports.

These are issues reported in the area in recent years with residents from Sudan, Garza County. Some were even flown in from different regions.

And as summer gets started, boating incidents are more than likely going to become more common.

“We don’t want them to be scared,” Sims said. “What we don’t want to do is work a major boating accident where there’s serious bodily injury or a fatality”