BELTON, Texas (FOX 44) – People are getting excited to hit the lake this weekend for the Fourth of July celebrations. But before you head out, lake officials want to remind us water safety.
“Make sure at the very least that you have life-jackets within reach for everybody on the boat, keeping in mind that anybody under the age of 13 is legally required to wear that life-jacket,” says Cassy Hill Natural Resource Specialist with the US Army Corps of Engineers.
Central Texas hasn’t seen sufficient rainfall in a while making the lake levels lower than average.
“Our water levels are five and a half feet low right now, so there’s a lot of obstacles that are popping up. And just drive safely,” says Hill.
And if you’re cruising on the water.
“Drive at a slower speed and be aware of what’s lurking under the water.”
Last year, Texas Game wardens arrested 42 for Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) over the Fourth of July weekend and filed eight other charges for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). They issued 1,474 citations and 1,797 warnings for various boating safety law violations.
“Be safe and don’t drink and operate, if you guys are going to be drinking have a designated operator for your boat,” says Hill.
With temperatures reaching high 90’s this weekend, officials say, don’t forget to stay cool while going outside.
“Always be prepared. You know, anything can happen on the water. So make sure you have extras of everything. Water, food, in case you guys do end up being out there later than anticipated,” says Hill.
Lake Belton is expected to see a large crowd this weekend so they ramped up their security to keep you and your family safe.
“We always have bell county deputies and tribal police officers contracted in the summer to help patrol,” says Hill.
You can click here to read more about boating safety, laws, and requirements.