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Boating tips to adhere to when in the waters

With fatal boating incidents high in 2021, boat officials share information about how to stay safe when in bodies of water.

SAN ANGELO, Texas — Boating can be fun, but dangerous as well. Boat officials say there are no seatbelts or airbags, and, at speeds up to 170 miles an hour. So boating while intoxicated can be deadlier than doing the same on the road. 

Just recently on the Fourth of July, a nine-year-old boy was injured on a boat at Lake Nasworthy. According to the San Angelo Police Department, the boy sustained serious bodily injury when he was struck by a boat’s propeller after falling off the front of a boat while it was in motion.

The driver of the boat, Joe Alvarado of Odessa, was arrested for intoxication assault with a vehicle resulting in serious bodily injury.  

Most laws that apply to driving a vehicle can apply to driving a boat, including driving intoxicated. Tom Green County Game Warden Jade Carter gave some of the many tips boaters should adhere to when in the water. 

“Some tips would be to wear your life jacket if you can't swim, to always have enough life jackets on board for everybody that going to be on your vessel, to take the boater education course we have online and you can do that online again that way you can learn the way of the road on the water,” Carter said. 

The Tom Green County game warden also provides a list of tips for boaters and people on a boat:

  • Wear a life jacket

  • Avoid alcohol

  • Watch your kids

  • Use an engine cut off safety switch

  • Take a boater education course

Texas has 1.7 million acres of freshwater lakes; four million acres of saltwater bodies of water; 80,000 miles of rivers; and roughly 590,000 recreational water vessels. In addition to that, 2020 had 55 boating fatalities and multiple boat accidents and injuries occurred on Texas waters.

Boating officials want residents to adhere to these tips and stay safe when enjoying the waters.