Archive for the 'Boating' Category

Boating Safety: A Cautionary Tale

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Justin Crawford shares his story.

Justin Crawford shares his story.



This is Passport to Texas

On November 29, 2008, as the sun began to set on Lake Ray Hubbard near Dallas, Justin Crawford, Taylor Savant and his cousin Brandon Fugate set off in Justin’s boat, which lacked both a kill switch and life jackets.

A strong front blew in, and the combination of a big wave and a 40 MPH wind gust knocked the 18-year-olds into the 42-degree water. Without a kill switch, the boat kept going.

Brandon decided to swim to shore while Taylor and Justin treaded water in place. Justin picks up the story.

40— Brandon started…kind of getting away from us. And, uh, I just remember Taylor and me looking at each other, and knowing we’d really messed up. We couldn’t…couldn’t find him. He was already gone. Then it was after that, it was, you know –fight for yourself, you know. It was, you know, no longer, where’s Brandon. It’s like, oh man, what am I going to do to save myself? And this boat with two gentlemen came over to me, and they threw me a rope. He pulled us both onto the boat, and uh, we sat there for a second, and then we said Brandon’s name. And they said: “There’s somebody else?” And we said: “Yes sir.” We looked for him for 29 days; we finally found him thanks to a lot of help. It was the worst day of my life by far, and I’ll never forget it.

It’s National Safe Boating Week. Learn how to stay safe on the water by logging onto Boating section of the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Safety: National Safe Boating Week

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Teaching children about PFDs.

Teaching children about PFDs.



This is Passport to Texas

It’s National Safe Boating Week, and we want to share a cautionary tale. This is part one. Justin Crawford and his High School buddies, Taylor and Brandon set off on Lake Ray Hubbard near Dallas one November evening in 2008.

04— My dad was bringing me out here in diapers before I could walk – I know it like the back of my hand.

It was nearly dark when they left the dock. Because 18-year old Justin didn’t grow up using life jackets, he didn’t have them on his boat when they set out to check trot lines they’d strung earlier.

06— I didn’t think that I would ever be in the situation where I would necessarily need one to save my life. Or, to save somebody that I was with life.

A front blew in creating choppy waters; leaving the fish behind, they attempted a hasty retreat to shore when both a large wave and 40 mph wind gust hit the boat.

06— Mother Nature can just rock your world so fast; there’s nothing you can do. It’s like fighting a thousand people at one time – you know you don’t stand a chance.

Justin, Taylor and Brandon ended up in the icy 42-degree waters of Lake Ray Hubbard… without life jackets. And without a “kill switch” the boat kept going.

06— And the whole time we’re just screaming; screaming as loud as we can, hoping somebody will hear us. And nobody can hear us. No one’s around.

No one was nearby. It was dark, and the water was deathly cold. Find out what happened next on tomorrow’s show.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Nature: Outdoor Resolutions for the New Year

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

Camping at Inks Lake

Camping at Inks Lake



This is Passport to Texas

Don’t you love the start of a new year? It‘s totally fresh and filled with possibilities. So, take a few minutes to consider how you’re going to make this year better for you and your family.

One way would be to get outside more, because—as we like to say: life’s better outside.

Spending time in the natural world has a way of resetting the brain and giving you a fresh perspective. Researchers have discovered that children who spend time in nature do better on exams, and are less disruptive in the classroom.

Bring a pair of walking shoes to the office, and during your lunch hour, stroll outdoors in the fresh air. Even if you’re in a city, you can still observe the varied wildlife and plant life you see along the way. It’s amazing how much nature you can actually find in a concrete jungle.

Spend time with friends or family at one of our many state parks. Most folks are within 90 minutes of a state park or natural area; many are much closer. Take a nature hike, ride a bike. Pitch a tent and sleep under the stars, or find a park with cabins and rough it indoors.

Commit to learning something new about Texas history by visiting one of the state’s incredible historic sites.

There’s a world of wonder out there, and once you spend more time outdoors, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.

That’s our show…Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram…For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti

Recreation: Paddling Trail Program

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Neches Paddling Trail

Neches Paddling Trail, Image © Texas Parks and Wildlife Department



This is Passport to Texas

Paddling down a river, or on a lake, bay or bayou is great summer fun; yet, access to public waterways is a challenge in Texas.

04— Texas is definitely a private land state; more than 94% of our state is privately owned.

Shelly Plante, paddling trail coordinator, says Parks and Wildlife has an interest in granting people access to public waterways.

24— There are places where you can get in on a river to go canoeing or kayaking and you may not have another public access site for forty miles – which is far more than a day trip. And you are now stuck on a river overnight, or trespassing on private property. So, the paddling trails program allowed us the ability to really educate people where they could go paddling for short day trips, where — if they put in here, six miles downriver there’s going to be another public access site. You will be able to get out.

Communities along waterways apply to participate in the program; Texas has more than 50 inland and coastal trails suitable for all skill levels. Find them all on the paddling trail website.

11— The paddling trail website is great. There are maps for every single trail in the program. And they show you exactly where you’ll be able to put in to go canoeing or kayaking, and where you’ll be able to take out.

On site kiosks provide additional information about conditions you might encounter while underway.

That’s our show…with funding provided by Chevrolet, supporting outdoor recreation in Texas; because there’s life to be done.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Boater Education: Saving Lives

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Image by Randall Chancellor

Image by Randall Chancellor



This is Passport to Texas

With more people enjoying Texas lakes and rivers, it’s important for everyone that boaters educate themselves on boating skills and seamanship. In 2011, the Texas legislature updated who must receive this training.

09— Any person born on or after September 1, 1993, must take boater education to operate certain vessels alone on the water.

Boater education coordinator, Tim Spice says, Boater Ed is beneficial for all new boaters because piloting a boat is different than driving a car.

14— The biggest difference new boaters don’t understand are brakes. There are no brakes on a boat; so a boat’s momentum will carry it to a stop. And you cannot change course if you have let off the power.

Boating fatalities in Texas remain constant – about 50 per year – since before mandatory boater education took effect; but Spice says that doesn’t take into account the substantial increase of boaters in the state.

07— The numbers have stayed constant, but the amount of use has gone up. So, you could deduct that people are safer out there on the water.

Spice offers a simple tip for staying safe on the water.

06— What I like to tell people is: the best thing you can do to be safe on the water is very simply just to wear a life jacket.

Find Boater Ed class information on the TPW website.

The Sport Fish Restoration program Supports our series and works to support fishing and boating opportunities in Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.