Archive for May 20th, 2014

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.