Fishing Report: Labor Day Lake Safety - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Fishing Report: Labor Day Lake Safety

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FISHING REPORT - The final big boating weekend is upon us as Lake Texoma prepares to welcome a big end-of-summer Labor Day crowd. With this final push for 2010 on-the-water fun, Lynn Burkhead has some tips to stay safe on the water this holiday weekend.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has some great tips for boating safety.

First, always wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket. It's the law for children under the age of 13 when a vessel is underway. According to teh TPWD, most boating fatality victims were not wearing a life jacket when they were recovered by authorities.

Next, operate your boat safely. That means never overloading the craft, designating a passenger as a lookout, operate your rig at a safe speed, and be on the lookout for submerged objects or floating debris.

If you are enjoying the use of a personal watercraft, TPWD warns you to be especially careful. PWC operators must also wear a life jacket. They should also know how to safely operate the controls of their craft before getting on the water. And they must obey the 50-foot rule, maintaining a 50-foot distance from other PWC's, vessels, persons, shore, or stationary platform or other object unless operating at headway (idle) speed.

Finally, avoid alcohol use while anywhere near the water. Boating While Intoxicated, or BWI, is strictly enforced by game wardens on both sides of Lake Texoma and carries penalties similar to DWI penalties including the possibility of a driver's license suspension. And even more important deterrent from using alcohol while boating is this -- TPWD says that the probability of being killed in a boating accident doubles when alcohol is involved.

The bottom line this holiday weekend is this -- whether you are fishing, enjoying a pleasure boat ride, or skimming Texoma on a jet ski, make safety your utmost concern.

Lynn Burkhead, KTEN News