Archive for the 'Boating Safety' Category

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

passport_boat_water


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.

Boating: Safety, 1

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

Boating with Safety in Mind

Boating with Safety in Mind



This is Passport to Texas

Over the past couple of years, low lake levels from the drought kept many boats and other watercraft in dry dock, but thanks to spring rains…

02—We have a lot more water now, so the lakes have changed.

That’s good news as we approach Memorial Day weekend —the unofficial start of summer boating season.

More water means easier, safer navigation of lakes, says Tim Spice, manager of boater education for Parks and Wildlife. Being savvy about safety also keeps everyone protected when on the water.

31—We can identify two major factors that you as a boater can affect in how you operate a vessel, and the things that you do in and around the water. One is wear a lifejacket. Eighty percent of those people that die from falling in the water would be alive if they had a life jacket on. And then the second thin you can do is to not drink alcohol. Alcohol affects your judgment, and you can lose your driver’s license—your vehicle driver’s license—the court can take that away from you if you are found guilty of boating while intoxicated.

On tomorrow’s show the rules of the road as they pertain to boating, and what items you need to have on board before setting sail.

07—The rules on the road are all designed based on the type of vessel and the maneuverability of the vessel.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series and works increase fishing and boating opportunities in Texas.

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