Texas game wardens see rise in fatalities, accidents during Labor Day weekend

Texas game wardens patrolling water bodies across the state noticed an increase in water-related fatalities and boating accidents compared to last year’s Labor Day holiday weekend. 

The weekend typically marks the end of the unofficial boating season and coincides with the opening of dove season, making it a busy time for Texas Game Wardens.  

“Game wardens patrolled the state’s waterways to ensure boating laws were observed, to confirm vessels had appropriate safety gear and, above all, to ensure that recreational boaters and anglers remained safe,” said Cody Jones, assistant commander for marine enforcement for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.  

Wardens patrolling Sept. 2-4 reported five boating accidents, two boating-related fatalities and two open-water drownings.

They also arrested five individuals for boating while intoxicated, one of whom had a child passenger aboard. In 2022, wardens responded to three boating accidents, no boating-related fatalities and one open-water drowning.  

The boating-related fatalities occurred at Amistad Reservoir and Lake Ray Hubbard, while the drownings happened at Lake Whitney State Park and Lake Lavon.  

“We are saddened by the loss of life on our waterways, and we keep the families in our thoughts and prayers,” said Jones. “These tragic events should be a reminder of the importance of being equipped with and using the proper safety equipment and taking a boater education course.” 

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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