Game Warden David Hopkins addresses boating laws and misconceptions, gives safety tips

Local News

SAN ANGELO, Texas – Game Warden David Hopkins says boaters should always have a plan in place before they hit the water.

Some common mistakes boaters make are not having enough life jackets on board, not wearing life jackets or wearing the wrong type of life jacket, and being unaware of certain watercraft rules and ethics.

“If you’re 13 and younger, you have to wear a life jacket,” Hopkins said. “For whatever reason, we get parents who wear life jackets and don’t feel the need to put them on their kids.”

Hopkins also addressed the various types of life jackets and the importance of knowing which one is suited for the water activity you are doing.

According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s website: Accidents on the water happen fast. U.S. Coast Guard statistics show that drowning was the reported cause of death in 79% of recreational boating fatalities in 2019, and that 86% of those who drowned were not wearing a life jacket. 

Hopkins also spoke about boating laws and the boater education course which is required for anyone born on or after September 1, 1993.

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