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Central Texas is so fortunate to have some of the state’s most beautiful lakes!
KWTX and Texas Boat World would like to remind you of some simple boating safety tips.
- Don’t drink & drive. You don’t want to endanger your family or anyone else’s by not being in full control when operating the boat. Many drowning accidents involve alcohol which affects your coordination and judgement. If you do drink on the boat, have a plan in place and designate a sober driver.
- Know the rules of the road. A boaters safety course will help you to know the rules and recognize the meaning of buoys and markers. The courses are inexpensive, can be taken online and may even help with your insurance rates.
- Wear a life jacket when you are underway. Texas law requires that kids 12 and under wear a life vest at all times when on the water. Have enough life vests for everyone in your boat before you leave the ramp.
- Check your boat and equipment before you head out to the water. Make sure your batteries are charged and you have enough fuel to enjoy the day. Check that your fire extinguisher is fully charged and that your horn is working – this may help you not get a ticket. Also, make sure to carry a First Aid Kit in the boat.
- Take multiple phones with a charger or a working radio when you go out on the lake. Make sure to protect your phone from the water to make sure it works in an emergency. Also know where you are located on the lake and be aware of your surroundings at all times. If an emergency occurs, this may be what helps save you or a loved one.
- Know the latest marine weather forecast and plan accordingly. Keep a regular check for changing weather and have a plan if the weather changes quickly. Dress in layers if the weather is cool and wear sunscreen even if the sun isn’t bright. Keep water on the boat and make sure you stay hydrated.
- Never swim alone and never leave kids unattended while they are in the water. Kids on floats can quickly and easily float out of reach and float into traffic lanes where they are hard to see, especially at dusk.
- Be sure you know your boat’s capacity in number of people and weight. An overloaded boat can become unstable and capsize. Make sure you put your boat plug in the boat before you leave the ramp.
- Beware of carbon monoxide poisoning. Gasoline powered engines, including generators on boats can produce carbon monoxide which is a colorless and odorless gas that can poison or kill someone who breathes in too much of it. If you smell a strong gas odor, make sure to get your boat checked out by a marine service facility.
- Take your trash with you! Don’t leave trash in the lake or on the ground at state parks and ramps. Trash in the lake can harm or kill fish and other wildlife. It can also get caught up in propellers and some boat engines that can ruin a day on the water and lead to costly repairs. Protect the outdoors so that we can all enjoy it in the future.
Enjoy your boating and stay safe out there.