AUSTIN, Texas - This Memorial Day proved to be busy for Texas Parks and Wildlife as thousands of Texans headed to the waterways for the holiday.
According to TPWD, Texas Game Wardens conducted more than 9,000 safety checks on vessels across the state from Friday to Monday. Game wardens also issued 1,196 cations and 1,212 warnings for various boating safety law violations. 38 were arrested for boating while intoxicated and game wardens also issued an additional five DWI's.
TPWD says the largest cause for concern over the weekend involved severe weather. "Inclement weather, including strong storms, 60 mile per hour wind gusts and a slow-moving tornado on the ground about 10 miles from Lake Alan Henry set game wardens into action to assist in escorting boaters off the lake when storms were spotted," TPWD said in a press release. Game wardens helped with multiple boat rescues across the state and also rescued two teenage swimmers.
Additionally, TPWD investigated 16 boating accidents, one of which was related to fatality. Game wardens also said that there were 10 open water drownings over the weekend.
“The dedicated efforts of the game wardens while working these tragic events is second to none and we keep the families in our thoughts and prayers,” said Cody Jones, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Assistant Commander for Marine Enforcement.