Texas Game Wardens Conclude Busy July 4th Weekend of Statewide Enforcement

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AUSTIN – While thousands of Texans and out-of-state visitors traveled to Texas lakes, rivers and coastal bays to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday weekend, Texas Game Wardens were out in force to ensure everyone stayed safe on the water.

“Texas Game Wardens partnered with thousands of law enforcement agencies across the country for Operation Dry Water to focus on impacts of alcohol on boaters during high-traffic weekends like the Fourth of July,” said Cody Jones, Assistant Commander for Marine Enforcement with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). “These efforts are represented in the work we did during the holiday weekend.”

Texas Game Wardens issued 1,521 citations and 1,891 warnings for various boating safety laws. Wardens also arrested 56 individuals for Boating While Intoxicated and filed four other charges for Driving While Intoxicated. An additional 36 individuals were arrested for a variety of other charges.

Texas Game Wardens also conducted multiple search and rescues over the holiday weekend and assisted with 18 boating accidents at several Texas lakes and rivers.

Statewide, Game Wardens were involved with numerous waterway assists and other incidents.

  • Game Wardens patrolling Lake Palestine observed a dock fire started by fireworks and were able to extinguish the blaze before major damage occurred.
  • Comal County Game Wardens responded to a missing swimmer after a caller reported that a family member was swimming but could not be located. They located the missing person 125 yards offshore swimming outside of the designated area. The swimmer was exhausted and requested a ride back to shore where they were united with family and friends.
  • Game Wardens on Lake Travis helped locate a missing seven-year-old female who was found safely with a friend. TPWD aviation assisted Game Wardens in Zavala, Uvalde and Real counties patrolling the Nueces River for riverbed enforcement activities.
  • The TPWD Boater Education program had booths at Canyon Lake and Joe Pool Lake over the weekend to promote boating and water safety.

Texas Game Wardens handled one boating fatality and five open-water fatalities on Texas waterways over the Independence Day weekend. The boating-related fatality occurred on Lake Stillhouse. Open-water fatality locations included Lake Lewisville (2), Lake Travis, Marlin City Lake and Cedar Creek Lake.