Tips on Boating and Water Craft Safety for Your Spring Break in Texas
The temperatures are heating up in the Lone Star State and before you know it, summer will be here. This means that fun in the sun and good times at South Padre Island or Falcon Reserve are just around the corner for Spring Break. If you are planning on taking your vacation to the open water, here are some recommendations to keep in mind.
According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department:
- Any operator or passenger on a vessel 16 feet or shorter must have a personal floatation device, including kayaks or canoes.
- All people aboard boats 16 feet and longer must wear personal floatation devices, and the boat must also have a throwable floatation device
- All vessels 16 feet or longer must carry a device used for distress signals, e.g. flareguns, except for kayaks and canoes.
- If you were born on or after September 1, 1993 and are operating a personal watercraft or boat with a horsepower rating of 15 HP or more, you must complete a boater education coarse.
Generally, if you decide to rent jet skis or other personal watercraft at SPI, the insurance is covered in the price, but be safe and ask the owner if said price includes insurance on the sea craft you and your friends will be having fun on.
A BUI is Just as Deadly as a DUI
Everyone should know that it is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs in every state. The Coast Guard also upholds a federal law that prohibits BUI (boating under the influence). This law applies to ALL boats, from canoes and rowboats to the largest types of watercraft, and includes foreign vessels that operate in U.S. waters and U.S. vessels at sea.
Alcohol can be even more dangerous to boaters due to the marine environment’s motions, sun, waves, wind and spray that can accelerate a drinker’s impairment. Don’t forget, you can face the same penalties drinking and boating on the waters at South Padre Island as you would driving drunk on Expressway 83.
Staying at Ease
Shepard Walton King is able to find boating insurance for most motorized watercraft and can protect your investments from theft or damage. Contact us today or call our main office in McAllen at (800) 446-2471 to learn what we can do for you.
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