Lack of life jackets becomes most common citation issued during the holiday weekend

Posted at 7:27 PM, May 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-24 21:31:43-04

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department patrolled lakes and rivers in Central Texas during Memorial Day weekend to ensure boaters have the equipment needed to prevent drownings.

Game Warden Matthew Kiel said they conducted water safety checks throughout the holiday weekend.

"We pull over all the boats we see and we make sure that they have life jackets, that they have a throw cushion in case someone is in the water and they need help," Kiel said.

The most common citation issued to boaters this weekend in Central Texas was for not having enough life jackets for people on board and not having a fishing license.

"The worst thing we do as game wardens is recovering people who have drowned in our waterways," Kiel said. "It makes it 10 times harder when it's a child so please put a child on a life jacket."

Children under the age of 13 must wear a life jacket at all times while on board a boat. Kiel recommends parents to check the label of the life jackets to make sure they are the right size for your children.

"Once they fall into Texas waters, it's very hard to recover them, if they can't swim," Kiel said. "And if you can't swim, wear a life jacket because water is the most powerful thing in this world and we need to be very careful around it."

Jerry Snider who was boating on Lake Waco with his family and friends said he is always cautious about the dangers on the water. 

"There is plenty of life jackets and plenty of food and water. So everybody can stay hydrated and stay safe from a physical standpoint," Snider said.

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