SAN ANTONIO — Memorial Day weekend was busy for Texas Game Wardens.
“We do see the crowds began to get out on our area lakes during this weekend,” Boating Law Administrator for the state of Texas Cody Jones said.
Jones says last year for Memorial Day weekend they saw record high numbers in boating incidents, but last weekend the state passed those record high numbers in almost every category.
Jones says new boaters are to blame.
“When COVID hit people wanted to get outside and wanted to do it in a safe way and being on our state’s waterways was a good way to do so. What came with it was the density of boaters, new boaters of all types and because of that we saw an increase in accidents, fatalities, and injuries,” Jones said.
Last weekend, Texas Game Wardens said they respond to six open water drownings, 17 boating accidents, and three boating related fatalities.
“As more people hit our waterways, we definitely have the potential to having one of those record breaking years and when it comes to accidents and fatalities that’s not a number we want to see,” Jones said.
To avoid seeing those numbers increase Jones says boaters need to remember to always wear a life jacket when on the water, leave the alcohol at home when boating, and always be aware of your surroundings.
“Just because you know how to swim doesn’t mean you’ll be safe out there,” Jones said.