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|  TPWD News Release 20050801f                                            |
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[ Note: This item is more than nine years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Kristen Everett, 512-389-8046, tpwd.news@tpwd.texas.gov ] [KE]
Aug. 1, 2005
Reminder: Important Boating Facts
Extra! Read All Aboat It!
--There are approximately 621,000 registered boats in Texas, ranking it fifth in the country.
--Texas has more square miles of inland water than any other state.
--Recreational boating safety is a primary area of responsibility for Texas game wardens. The most common water safety citations are issued for: (1) Not having enough lifejackets on board the boat. (2) Children younger than 13 not wearing a life jacket.
--All children younger than age 13 must wear a life jacket while in a boat underway.
--Game Wardens enforce the Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) law. A person who either appears to be impaired and/or has a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher while operating a boat can be arrested for BWI.
--A person arrested for BWI may be jailed for up to 180 days, be fined as much as $2,000 or both. Additionally, the person's drivers' license may be suspended.
--Alcohol plays a role in 50 percent of all boating accidents, according to BOAT US.
--Nearly 85 percent of boating fatality victims were not wearing a life jacket.
--A typical boating accident fatality involves:
--An open motorboat;
--Weekends between the hours of Noon and 7 p.m.;
--The victim falling overboard; and
--An operator between 26-50 years of age
Texas Boating-Related Statistics on Public Waterways (does NOT include non-boating related drownings)
Calendar Year	Accidents	Injuries	Fatalities	BWIs
1997	258	222	69	164
1998	252	187	53	185
1999	262	186	51	154
2000	257	173	55	217
2001	242	191	41	216
2002	249	153	61	190
2003	264	175	39	193
2004	209	155	35	279
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