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Boaters are encouraged to play it safe this Memorial Day weekend

By Bradley Nichols, Photographer, bnichols@ktxs.com
Published On: May 26 2014 08:02:32 AM CDT
ABILENE, TEXAS -

Boaters can’t wait for the start of summer, especially for Memorial Day weekend. But it is also a time for accidents.

Statistics show that drowning is the biggest cause of death in recreational boating accidents.

One simple way to save your life is to have the proper equipment on your boat.

“You need to have safety equipment on your boat,” Said Roy Johnson of the Texas Parks and Wild Life Service. “You need to have a life jacket that fits each person on board. We’re having a lot of problems right now with adults putting adult sized life jackets on kids.”  

Alcohol is also a leading cause of boating accidents. At the very least, boaters who intend to drink should designate a sober driver. Driving a boat drunk can result in the same penalties as driving a car while intoxicated.  

“If they are caught in a boat, and have any distinction of alcohol, we can take them to jail,” said Johnson.

If you find yourself stopped by the game warden, just know it’s for your own safety.

“We’re not trying to harass you,” said Johnson. “We want to make sure you have the proper safety equipment. We are also looking for intoxicated drivers.”