Lake Texoma Boaters Urged To Wear Life Jackets - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Lake Texoma Boaters Urged To Wear Life Jackets

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LAKE TEXOMA -- Visitors are already heading out to the lake for the Fourth of July holiday, and many people are taking some simple precautions to stay safe.

Campers and boaters are starting to arrive to the lake to for a fun holiday weekend. There are some steps they're being urged to follow to avoid accidents that take place here every summer.

July Fourth weekend means plenty of people will head out on Lake Texoma. "There's good fishing out here and it's a good park. We have an RV and a boat and so just come to hang out and spend time with the family," says Dallas visitor Ryan Gray.

Gray is enjoying time with his parents and brother. With thousands of visitors, park rangers will be among those checking boats to be sure they have the proper registration, life jackets, life rings, a sounding device like a horn or bell, and a light for boats traveling at night.

"All the traffic on the lake you definitely want to make sure you got all your flotation devices and your license make sure the game wardens are gonna be happy if they happen to run into you on the lake," says Prosper visitor Ashly Chaffin.

"Being careful of other drivers and staying clear of them and not overpowering the boat," says Fort Worth visitor Candy Cottle.

According to the Army Corps of Engineers, Lake Texoma averages five drownings per year. To try and stop that, officials want all boaters to take a very important safety precaution.

"Making sure you have a life jacket, not necessarily on board, but you want to be wearing it as well. So far this year in our district we've had 9 drownings, 60 nationally. None of the drowning victims were wearing a life jacket," says Army Corps Project Manager B.J. Parkey.

Parkey says he's had to respond to many drownings and he doesn't want to have to this year.

"Responding to a drowning situation is a very sobering sombering situation. You really feel for the families," says Parkey.

That is why some visitors are taking precautions to stay safe on the water.

"Fishing and cruising, we got a new tube the kids want to try out that fits all of them," says Gray.

Parkey says fireworks are not allowed at the ten Army Corps campgrounds at the lake, except for the shows that have already gotten a permit. They are encouraging people not to drink in excess because alcohol is often involved with drownings.