Law enforcement looks to make East Texas waters safe

By Morgan Chesky - bio | email

LAKE TYLER, TX (KLTV) - When the temperature goes up, the boats come out. The lakes that cover East Texas are filled with people trying to stay cool in the summer heat.

Jet ski's and boats own Lake Tyler every weekend and it's no surprise 4th of July brings even higher numbers.

Game warden Chris Green faces the controlled chaos every day. "Since its so vast and wide open people feel kind of invincible there's no stop signs or cross or follow." said Green.

With more than half a million boats registered in Texas, the job isn't easy, but Green takes it one at a time.

"How are yall?" Green greets a boater. No sirens here, a friendly hello brings the boaters alongside for a needed life jacket check.

The most broken water laws nearly always involve improper use of lifejackets, a rule Green says most East Texans follow. "We have responsible boaters," said Green. "A lot of our lakes fatalities are down our alcohol related accidents are down."

Positive results Green says comes from mutual respect with lake goers. "People have caught on plus I get to know the people out here and you earn their respect and they don't want to do wrong after awhile."

At a social area of Lake Tyler, the game warden is greeted or the introduction is made.

"We've got a really good track record," said Green. "Hopefully we can continue it and more and more people can come out to Lake Tyler and be safe.

Game wardens tell us alcohol is involved in half of all boating accidents, and nearly 85 percent of boating drowning's nationwide are people who were not wearing a life jacket.

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