AUSTIN – As Labor Day weekend approaches, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) reminds everyone to be safe this holiday by following basic boating precautions and boating safety. In 2020, Texans were enjoying the outdoors and hitting the waters in droves, leading to boating accidents to a 30-year high. Outreach efforts by Texas game wardens and community partners have resulted in a 24% decrease in boating-related accidents, but the numbers remain above pre-pandemic levels.
“We expect another push to get Texans to enjoy the outdoors over Labor Day weekend, so Texas game wardens will be out in force to make sure everyone is following protocols. safety on the water, ”said Cody Jones, TPWD deputy commander for marine law enforcement. “We want to make sure that water-related activities are managed responsibly. When on a boat, wear a life jacket, watch all children with you closely, use the engine kill switch, and refrain from operating a boat if you drink alcohol.
Learning to swim, checking weather reports, and taking a boater training course are also simple steps to take before heading out on the water. The TPWD Boater Education website offers multiple resources and boater education courses that should be completed by anyone operating a watercraft or boat rated at 15 horsepower or more.
“As usual, the increase in water traffic goes hand in hand with better visibility of the Texas Game Wardens,” added Jones. “Boaters should expect to see us on patrol making sure that everyone under the age of 13 is wearing a life jacket, that the boats are fitted with the proper flotation devices and that no one is under the boat. influence of alcohol. We want to make sure Texans have a great vacation and the only way to do that is to follow state laws. “
For more information on boating safety, laws and requirements visit the TPWD Boating Laws website