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Austin-area officials provide boating safety guidelines for Fourth of July weekend

Personal motorized watercraft are banned on Lake Austin during the holiday weekend.

AUSTIN, Texas — Holiday weekends, like the one coming up for the Fourth of July, are always busy out on the water.

This weekend, law enforcement will be putting in extra effort to keep people safe out there.

The Travis County Sheriff's Office (TCSO) and Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) will be out reminding boaters to be careful.

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They're teaming up with boat rental companies to spread the word about things like wearing life jackets, not boating while intoxicated, staying hydrated and watching out for hidden hazards below the surface of the water.

"Lake Travis is extremely low right now and so there are hazards today that were not hazards two weeks ago or maybe last summer or maybe the last time someone was out on Lake Travis. So, since it's a lake that changes literally weekly, it presents a lot of danger that people need to be careful with," said Craig Smith with the TCSO.

Meanwhile, in Austin, the Austin Police Department Lake Patrol Unit will be out enforcing the city ordinance prohibiting the use and operation of personal watercraft, wet bikes, motorized surfboards and other similar devices on Lake Austin. This enforcement begins at sunset on Sunday and ends on Tuesday at sunrise.

Non-motorized devices such as kayaks, canoes and paddleboards are still allowed.

This ban takes place every year on Lake Austin only to ensure public safety during the holiday weekend.

Police will also be reminding people of other local boating ordinances, such as the Required Response to Police Water Safety Vessel ordinance. It requires the operator of a vessel in the sight of a rotating or flashing blue beacon light to reduce power immediately and bring the vessel to a no-wake speed and subsequent stop until the intention of the water safety vessel is understood.

Fore more information from the LCRA on how to be "lake wise," click here.

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