Safety Key For Holiday Weekend

With the Memorial Day coming up, thousands of East Texans are getting ready for a big weekend outdoors. Many of those folks will head to East Texas lakes for a little fun and recreation, but the number of people on the lakes can make for a dangerous situation.

Texas Parks and Wildlife game warden Chris Green knows what can happen on the lake. That is one reason he wants to make sure everyone is safe.

"We take (safety) very serious, we don't want any boat accidents for anybody to get in trouble out here."

It is Green's job to make sure everyone is following the law. That means checking for things such as lifejackets, you need to have one for every passenger, to registration, on board at all times and current. And with a big holiday weekend coming up, alcohol will be high on the list.

"We would like for there not to be alcohol at all, but we know we're going to be some and boat operators need to use that in moderation."

Drinking too much on the lake could lead to a charge of boating while intoxicated. The legal limit is the same as on any Texas roadway. Green said taking precautions are important, but staying safe on a crowded lake also mean keeping an eye out for others.

"On a busy holiday weekend we as motorboat operators need to be a little more patient and courteous to everyone including the jet ski operators," he said "As a boat operator you have a lot of responsibilities when you have a boat load of passengers."

So if you're planning to hit the lakes this Memorial Day, remember, running into Green doesn't have to be a bad thing.

"We're out here for public safety, not to ruin anybody's fun."

More than 10,000 people are expected to go to East Texas lakes this Memorial Day weekend. Last year Texas actually saw less accidents than previous years. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, there were 158 boating accidents, 19 of those included a fatality.

Chris Gibson, reporting