Texas Game Wardens Put Wraps on Busy Memorial Day Weekend Boating Safety Effort

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AUSTIN – Thousands of Texans headed out to lakes, rivers and coastal bays to celebrate Memorial Day weekend, and Texas Game Wardens were out in force to ensure everyone stayed safe on the water. Game wardens conducted safety checks on more than 9,000 vessels across the state between Friday and Monday.

In addition to issuing 1,196 citations and 1,212 warnings for various boating safety law violations, wardens arrested 38 individuals for Boating While Intoxicated and filed another five charges for Driving While Intoxicated. Additionally, another 31 people were arrested for various other crimes.

By far, the biggest cause for concern game wardens observed during the busy weekend involved severe weather, according to game warden Cody Jones, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Assistant Commander for Marine Enforcement.

Inclement weather, including strong storms, 60 mile per hour wind gusts and a slow-moving tornado on the ground about 10 miles from Lake Alan Henry set game wardens into action to assist in escorting boaters off the lake when storms were spotted. Wardens also rescued two teenage swimmers at Lake Mackenzie and helped with multiple boat rescues across the state due to severe weather.

Additionally, game wardens investigated 16 boating accidents across the state, one boating related fatality that occurred on Stillhouse Hollow Lake and 10 open water drownings

“The dedicated efforts of the game wardens while working these tragic events is second to none and we keep the families in our thoughts and prayers,” said Assistant Commander Jones.