Coast Guard Compliance Checks on Lake Texoma - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Coast Guard Compliance Checks on Lake Texoma

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On Friday, the Coast Guard stopped at local marinas to help get fishing guides up to speed on requirements that will be enforced come January 1st.

Whistle, navigation lights, radio, those are are just some of the requirements Commercial Passenger Vessels, or Fishing Guide Boats are required to have before undocking at Lake Texoma and starting up their engines.           

Fishing Guide Ronnie Helm says, "I've been on this lake a number of years, like 50 years, and so I try to be safe when I'm out there."     

The checks are voluntary and will be going on on both sides of Lake Texoma through Wednesday.          

Lt. Geoffrey Scibek with the Coast Guard says, "They've been getting a hold of us, and you can see the communication is working. We've had a really good turnout."     

So what do you need to be in compliance? Here's just a few, it includes having a USCG license, proper documentation and registration, taking a drug test, and carrying enough type one life vests for each person on board.     

Lt. Scibek says, "They have to be a type one, which is a little bit steadier, and is also designed to roll an unconscious person in  aface up condition."     

Fishing Guide Jerry Sims says, "We have no place to store them. You can't wear them on the boat. It's what they wear on the big cruisers when they have a wreck."     

July also happens to be the deadliest month for boating accidents. The American Boating Association says alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents, but inspectors say not having the proper safety equipment can also be dangerous.     

Lt. Scibek says, "There are some minimal requirements to safely carry passengers, and that's what were here to examine, that they're at least doing that."      

These requirements must be met by January 1st. Until then the Coast Guard will continue checking vessels.              

To schedule an inspection call Lt. Geoffrey Scibek at (832) 256-1053.  

So far inspectors say the biggest problem they've encountered is fishing guides not carrying the type one life vests or holding Coast Guard Licenses.

Vanessa Bolano, KTEN News.