Texas Water Safety Efforts Enhanced by San Antonio Foundation

Media Contact: Lydia Saldaña, (512) 389-4557, icle__media__contact">Media Contact: Lydia Saldaña, (512) 389-4557, lydia.saldana@tpwd.texas.gov

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Scott A. Freund Memorial Foundation funds water safety video for driver education students

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AUSTIN — A new water safety video will be produced for Texas driver education courses, thanks to a generous donation by the Scott A. Freund Memorial Foundation. Foundation representatives presented a ceremonial check for $20,000 to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission today.

“These funds will be used to produce a video that will be required viewing for 220,000 drivers education students annually,” said Tim Spice, Texas Parks Wildlife Department Boater Education Manager. “Thanks to House Bill 673, which was passed by the 82nd Legislature, critical water safety messages will be delivered via this new vide to all driver ed students in Texas. It’s exactly the target audience we need to reach with this life-saving information.”

The Scott A. Freund Memorial Foundation was set up in memory of Scott Freund, who was killed in a tragic boating accident on Canyon Lake in 2010. The foundation has been providing funds for equipment for local water safety and water rescue organizations for the last couple of years and wanted to extend its reach to education efforts.

“Promoting boating and water safety is at the core of the Scott Freund Memorial Foundation’s charter,” said Mathew Freund, who serves as chairman of the board and is Scott’s brother. “We’re pleased to be able to partner with Texas Parks and Wildlife to spread this important education message about water safety to so many people.”

The video is in the planning stages now and should be completed in time for the 2013 boating season.

National Safe Boating week this year is May 19-25, and the presentation today underscored the importance of boater education in making our waterways safer.

Freund noted that educating both new and experienced boat operators on the importance of wearing Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) and attaching kill switches to boat ignitions is also very important to the Scott A. Freund Memorial Foundation.

 “Today’s PFD’s offer convenience, comfort, and are not restrictive to the user,” said Freund. “It is our hope that if we can get enough education out there, that boaters will begin embracing life jackets and kill switches in a manner similar to seat belts in automobiles.”

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