Lake safety tips for Memorial Day weekend - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Lake safety tips for Memorial Day weekend

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LAKE PALESTINE (KYTX) -- With summer weather in the forecast, you can expect many people on the lakes this Memorial Day weekend.

That includes boater Mark Cauthen.

 "We're out on the lake at least three times a week on the average, and we'll go out here all year," Cauthen, who lives by Lake Palestine, said.

He says because of crowds, he avoids boating during peak times of the day. He explains some dangers inexperienced drivers face. 

 "Not knowing the lake is probably one of the biggest hazards, because there are stumps all over the lake," Cauthen said.

Low lake levels definitely create a hazard. But out of four drownings on Lake Palestine in the past year, game wardens say at least 2 cited weather as a contributing factor.

 "These lakes large and wide open, get very rough. You add in boat traffic, choppy wind, rain, you have limited visibility and it does capsize boats," Capt. Quint Balkcom, a Texas Game Warden, said.

Texas law requires one life jacket be readily available for every person on board a boat.  Further, children 13 and under are required to wear them at all times.

"We are there to enforce recreation in the state of Texas, we want to see people enjoy it, but we need to see them enjoy it safely," Balkcom said.

In addition to those violations, they'll be on the lookout for reckless driving and people drinking and boating.

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