Texas Game Warden Shares Water Safety Tips for Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, and this year is expected to be the busiest in over a decade.

Many Southeast Texans will head to beaches and lakes to beat the heat. Whether boating or swimming, it’s essential to prioritize safety.

Swimming instructors and Texas Game Wardens emphasize the importance of having a sober adult supervising the water at all times.

“The weather looks like it’s going to be nice, pretty good this weekend,” said Texas Game Warden Phillip Ledoux.

As Southeast Texans prepare for boating activities over Memorial Day weekend, there are several key points to remember.

“Being intoxicated while operating a boat is treated the same as being intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle. The charges and consequences are identical,” Ledoux explained.

Ledoux also highlighted the need for boat operators to take extra precautions due to current conditions.

“The water levels are historically high across the Golden Triangle, with tons of debris floating down the river, including trees, branches, lumber, and pieces of damaged docks. Some of it is visible, but some is not,” Ledoux said. “Additionally, the high water means stronger currents.”

If caught in a current, it’s important to stay calm, conserve energy, and focus on breathing.

“You want to extend your feet out in front of you, relax on your back, and let the current carry you,” advised Healing Waters Aquatics founder D’Angelo Dorsey Thibodeaux. “Always wear a life jacket in open water, no matter what.”

Thibodeaux also stressed the importance of having a plan in case things go wrong.

“First, go in a group and bring all necessary safety equipment,” he said.

This plan should include rescue tubes and a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life vest.

“Have a good first aid kit and ensure adult supervision,” Thibodeaux added.

The Texas Game Warden advises ensuring your boat is equipped with all required safety items, such as a fire extinguisher and properly fitting life vests for everyone on board.

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