Thousands of Texans headed out to lakes, rivers and coastal bays to celebrate July 4th weekend, and Texas Game Wardens were out in force to ensure everyone stayed safe on the water. Game wardens conducted safety checks on more than 11,000 vessels across the state between Friday and Sunday.
In addition to issuing 1,061 citations and 1,348 warnings for various boating safety law violations, wardens arrested 42 individuals for Boating While Intoxicated and filed one other charge for Driving While Intoxicated. Additionally, another 34 people were arrested for various other charges.
Texas Game Wardens conducted multiple search and rescues over the weekend according to game warden Cody Jones, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Assistant Commander for Marine Enforcement.
On San Jose Island in Aransas County, game wardens rescued three individuals whose vessel became inoperable and washed ashore. All three of the individuals were returned safely to the Port Aransas Marina.
In Austin, four wardens responded to a capsized vessel on Lake Travis. Two occupants were hanging on to a floating kneeboard in the water when wardens arrived. Four other occupants were already removed from the water and onboard another vessel. Game wardens were able to bring the two occupants safely aboard the patrol vessel.
Wardens also rescued a swamped kayaker and located a missing juvenile on Lake Alan Henry.
Additionally, game wardens investigated 21 boating accidents across the state and three boating related fatalities that occurred on Lake J.B. Thomas, Clear Fork of the Brazos River and Lake Bastrop. There were also seven open water drownings that occurred over the holiday weekend.
“The dedicated efforts of the game wardens while working these tragic events is second to none and we keep the families in our thoughts and prayers,” said Cody Jones, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Assistant Commander for Marine Enforcement.