Boating and water safety for Memorial Day Weekend

It’s very important not just this weekend, but at all times that you’re aware of your surroundings. 

"It was a rip current and kind of a dangerous area and I had been there before this particular day there were weeds there." Six years ago Ted Pethes was snorkeling in the San Marcos River.

He had a shallow water blackout which made him pass out while underwater. 

After staying underwater for minutes, his swimming partner saved him. He says doctors thought he had no chance of survival. He spent five days in the hospital and it took him six months to fully recover. 

He says his freak accident inspired him to spread the word about water safety. 

"There's a lot of water that flows through this river you just have to be careful. If I could share advice, have a swim partner don't get too intoxicated. And know your limitations.”

Texas Parks and Wildlife says if you’re on the water, to always wear a life jacket and to avoid drinking alcohol. Authorities say operating a boat under the influence is just as dangerous as driving a car after you’ve been drinking. According to the Parks and Wildlife website, the probability of being killed in a boating accident doubles when alcohol is involving. 

"And people can lose sight of the fact that it's a real river and it has its dangers." Mark Julufka with the Lion’s Club Tube Rental says there are more folks that visited the river this year compared to last year. 

Both he and Pethes, stress safety should always come first. "You could be athletic and if you're not ready to swim or afraid of the water make sure that you know what you're getting into,” Pethes says.