Game Warden Cracks Down On Lake Safety Hazards This Memorial Day Weekend - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/25/08--Smith County

Game Warden Cracks Down On Lake Safety Hazards This Memorial Day Weekend

Sunday afternoon, he was on patrol, keeping watch on our waterways.

"Memorial Day weekend kind of kicks off the boating season for us," said Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Warden Chris Green.  "This weekend is usually a very crowded weekend with boats and jet skis."  Out on the water, Green is the law, enforcing the rules and regulations to help keep lake goers safe.  During one stop, he made sure a fire extinguisher on board a boat was properly charged.  He also made sure there were enough life jackets for everyone on deck.  If boaters and operators are not in compliance, they had to pay the price.

Last year, there were nearly 300 boating accidents in the State of Texas alone.  Fifty-two ended fatally.  Just like on the roads, alcohol was also a factor and played a role in 50% of boating accidents nationwide.  They're the kinds of incidents that Green said can be prevented.

"Our alcohol violations with underage drinking is down," said Green.  "We've had more designated boat operators for our drinkers.  Our water fatalities and accidents are down."  He said he and other law enforcement agencies have had an impact. 

"Our lakes are safer," said Green.  The regulars on the lake have become used to seeing him.

"We have a good reputation with him," said veteran boater Sherry Skrobinski.  "We get to wave to him when we go by."

"We've seen him about four, or five times in the past week," said Brett Klesitz.  The Texas parks and wildlife department has all of its rules and regulations posted on its web site.  To get there, go to Know More on 7 on our homepage and click the "Boater Safety" link.

Layron Livingston, Reporting.   llivingston@kltv.com  

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