Texas Parks & Wildlife urges boating safety this holiday weekend - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Texas Parks & Wildlife urges boating safety this holiday weekend

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Always Wear a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) or Life Jacket

  • Most boating fatality victims were found (recovered) NOT wearing a PFD.
  • Always carry extra PFD's in both adult and child sizes.
  • Children younger than 13 years old must wear a 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 after you've been drinking.
  • Boating while intoxicated (BWI) is strictly enforced and carries penalties similar to driving while intoxicated penalties, including possible Driver's License suspension.

Enroll in a Boater Education Course

  • It's a good idea for the whole family to enroll in a boater education course.
  • A majority (52%) vessels involved in boating accidents are operated by persons 26-50 years of age.
  • For information on classroom, home video and on-line course options, visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Boater Education Web pages or call (800) 792-1112.

Be Especially Careful On Personal Watercraft (PWC)

  • PWC operators and passengers must wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved PFD.
  • Before you borrow or rent 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 PWC's, vessels, persons, shore, or stationary platform or other object unless operating at headway (idle) speed.

Operate at a Safe Speed

  • Although there are no numerical speed limits on the water, citations may be issued for excessive speed or reckless operation. Use common sense, and operate at a safe speed at all times — especially in crowded areas.
  • Excessive speed is a rate of speed greater than is reasonable or prudent without regard for conditions and hazards or greater than will permit a person to bring the boat to a stop within the assured clear distance ahead.
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