Texas temperatures are on the rise and area lakes are full for the first time in years. This means more people are flocking to the water to stay cool, which also means an increased potential for accidents.
Federal, state and local agencies have enacted various rules and regulations through the years to help lessen certain risks boaters encounter on the water; however, there is an inherit risk with all water-related activities.
David Geary, reservoir manager for Eagle Mountain Operations, suggests that boaters get familiar with the waterbody they plan to visit to help mitigate potential risks.
“Water levels vary daily in Texas,” said Geary. “Understanding the water depths at normal pool where you plan to go is very important. Many boaters assume that if you can access an area it’s safe. This is a risky assumption.”
The weather is another factor that can vary, and afternoon thunderstorms are common during the summer months. If you are caught off guard by a storm, it’s important to know where to seek shelter or mechanical assistance.
“Perhaps, the single most important aspect to boating safety is the realization that you are responsible for your own personal safety,” said Geary. “This includes wearing a personal floatation device. You simply don’t know when you are going to need it.”
Boaters should also keep in mind that it’s often the activity that increases or decreases the risk level in a certain area. Also, remember to avoid alcohol, don’t overload your boat and operate at safe speeds.
For more information about boater safety, visit www.safeboatingcouncil.org