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Boat safety tips from Texas Parks and Wildlife

Texas is one of the top-ranking states for reported boating deaths in 2016 according to the U.S. Coast Guard's 2017 recreational boating statistics. (ABC 7 Amarillo - Morgan Burrell)

Texas was one of the top-ranking states for reported boating deaths in 2016 according to the U.S. Coast Guard's 2017 recreational boating statistics. On top of that, more people head to the lake when it's summertime. That includes Chris Markham and his family who went to Lake Meredith on Saturday, July 14 to enjoy fishing and recreational activities.

Summer also means Texas Parks and Wildlife Department State Game Warden, Steve Urben, must perform more water safety equipment inspections. Urben said his job is about educating the public.

"We're state game wardens we're just trying to do a water safety check, if everybody can hold up a life jacket for us please," said Urben to a group of people on a pontoon at Lake Meredith.

Texas also ranked number four in the nation with 176 reported boating accidents in 2016 according to the U.S. Coast Guard's 2017 recreational boating statistics. Texas Parks and Wildlife Public Information Officer, Shane Lewis, said there was a boating accident on Lake Meredith just a few days ago.

"We did have a 11-year-old boy riding on the bow of the vessel and he fell off and was taken under the cut up by the propeller," said Lewis.

Lewis also said it's his job to prevent accidents like that from happening.

"We ask that people don't ride in the back of the boat, sundecks, things like that. That can lead to serious bodily injuries. We just ask for people to stay in the boat when they're traveling," said Lewis.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department requires everyone on board to at least have a life jacket on board the vessel, which Lewis said they enforce strictly.

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