National Boating Safety Week aims to save lives - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

National Boating Safety Week aims to save lives

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TYLER (KYTX) - This week is national boating safety week.  If you're planning on hitting the lake this memorial day weekend -- the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has some reminders for you.

As CBS 19's Katiera Winfrey shows us what the department wants you to know to stay safe on the water.

Each year more than 700 people are killed in boating related accidents. Of those who drowned --about 88 percent were *not wearing life vests.

"You just gotta' make sure you have the right gear, a great day of fun can be over in an instant if you don't have the proper equipment," said Steve Frennier. He's a retires soldier who has picked up fishing as a hobby. For Memorial Day Frennier and thousands more will take to the water across east Texas.

"I will take some time to reflect on those great Americans that made the ultimate sacrifice to let us enjoy a day on the water like this," he said.

That's why parks and organizations all over the country are calling this week "National Boating Safety Week, it's a chance to give boaters a refresher on safety measures they should keep in mind. They're simple -- but potentially life saving.

-Supervise your children closely

-Learn how to swim and the top safety tip...

Always wear a life vest...

"You never know when you'll be thrown overboard...that life jacket is there to save your life," said Gregg County Game Warden Todd Long.

Game Wardens will be patrolling the waters to make sure boat drivers are following the safety requirements -- *and making sure people driving boats are sober.

"Sobriety tests will be performed on the shore line and will be arrested."

The blood alcohol concentration limit, just like when driving a car is point o-8. To avoid jail time, Frennier suggests just like on land -- have a designated driver.

When it comes to life-jackets, children under 13 are required to wear one any time they are on board. It's strongly suggested for everyone else.

And game wardens suggest that whether you're boating, fishing or swimming in an area you're familiar with -- don't forget that recent rains could have shifted things below the surface of the water.So be careful and pay attention when you're in the water.

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