Archive for the 'Boating Safety' 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.

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.

Boater Education: Then and Now

Monday, June 24th, 2013


This is Passport to Texas

The Texas Boater Education Program has stressed boating safety and responsibility for more than 30 years.

06— Boater education started with a little mail-in home study program called The Skipper’s Course back in the late 70s.

Tim Spice oversees the Boater Ed program at Texas Parks and Wildlife. Spice says the Skipper’s Course prevailed until 1997 when legislation passed mandating boater education.

17— If you remember when jet skis or personal watercraft started – that was in the mid-90s. And people were afraid about young people operating them with no education or training. So, the Texas Legislature and the public passed a law that teenagers 13 to 17 had to take boater ed.

The new Boater Ed program was modeled after TPW’s successful Hunter ED program, and standards established by the Coast Guard, through the National Association for State Boating Law Administrators.

12— And that’s the basis for the boater education program then and now. It’s a classroom course with a test at the end. It’s modernized little bit over the last five to ten years with online.

The legislative session of 2011 brought more changes to Texas boater education; and we’ll talk about that tomorrow.

Support provided by Ram Trucks. Doing what’s right and good regardless of the degree of difficulty — takes guts. Those are the people who build Ram trucks. RAM.

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

Boating: Safety, 2

Friday, May 17th, 2013

Image courtesy TPWD

Image courtesy TPWD

This is Passport to Texas

If you plan on operating a boat this summer—or any time—get to know items important to keep on board for safety while underway.

13—You should have a sound producing device, and you should have a life jacket for person that’s on board. If you’re boating at night, you should have the proper lights—that are working—and we suggest a first aid kit.

Tim Spice, manager of boater education for Parks and Wildlife, says anyone born on or after September 1, 1993 is required to take boater education.

21—We cover lots of different things, including safety aspects of boating; the different types of vessel you may have; the rules of the road; the required equipment. Again, everyone on board a vessel needs to have a lifejacket that’s accessible. We define what accessible means by law so that you don’t get in trouble when you’re on the water and a game warden stops to give you a boating safety check.

In addition, filing a float plan that tells folks on shore where you’ll be and when you plan to return will be vital if an emergency occurs while you’re on the water. Operating a boat has a different set of rules than driving a vehicle.

10—There’s no lines on the road; there’s no speed limits, per se. There are different signs and things you have to look out for that are very different than you would in your car.

By taking a boating safety course—which you can do online or in a classroom setting—you’ll learn what those rules.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series and works to increase fishing and boating opportunities in Texas. For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.