Even though a day at the lake is a great way to spend a day there are plenty of ways the things can become dangerous with all of the people and boats out on the lake. Paul McCarvell hits the lake frequently and has never had an accident, but he keeps some items on board all the time just in case.
“You got to have your life jacket,” McCarvell said. “Got to have your fire extinguisher, throw cushions. Your basic equipment and you need to be able to access it when you need it. Watch your depths, have a decent depth finder. Pay attention to the rock structures in the lake, you can run into it without even knowing you are coming up on.”
Those items are also required by the game warden. One of the biggest causes of issues out on the lake is alcohol.
“Alcohol is typically the biggest causes in crisis and drownings,” said Tyler Reed, Wichita County game warden. “There are no open container laws on boats, but the driver has to stay sober. A BWI is the same as a DWI. Any of the passengers who are intoxicated become a danger to themselves because they are on the water and a PI comes into effect there. “
If you plan to hit the lake without a boat, you still need to watch out for the boats on the lake.
“Be wary of swimming on boat ramps. Boats coming and going. They can’t always see whose behind them and things like that whenever they are trying to back a boat in or load a boat,” Reed said.
As far as keeping kids safe on out on the lake Tyler Reed’s advice is pretty simple.
“Our big thing is wear lifejackets for the kids,” Reed said. “We have had some small kids drown. Had one drown last weekend in a little pond. Had one in Iowa Park at minnow lake. Make sure they wear a lifejacket and keep an eye on them, even if they can swim and they don’t want to wear a lifejacket, make them put that life jacket on.”
With a lifejacket on and an eye on the activities going on around them, the lake can remain a fun and safe place to beat the summer heat. Reed also said to make sure you have plenty of water with you when you go out on a boat to keep from getting dehydrated while you are out there. And if you want more information about Texas parks and wildlife’s boating safety rules go here.