Statewide boating incidents during Memorial Day weekend exceed last year's numbers

Boating incidents increased statewide during the Memorial Day weekend compared to the previous year. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Boating incidents increased statewide during the Memorial Day weekend compared to the previous year. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)

Boating incidents increased statewide during the Memorial Day weekend compared to the previous year. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)

Despite heavy rainfall and thunderstorms, Texas Game Wardens remained busy throughout the Memorial Day weekend.

Statewide boating incidents surpassed reports from the 2020 holiday weekend in almost every category, according to a June 3 release from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.

Between June 28-31, wardens issued 1,283 citations on the water and an additional 1,639 warnings for safety law violations, according to TPWD. Wardens are investigating 17 boating accidents and 3 boating-related deaths on Texas waters.

The increase in incidents can, in part, be attributed to a recent pandemic-fueled spike in new boaters, according to Cody Jones, TPWD’s assistant commander of marine enforcement.

While many businesses suffered losses during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the boating industry was not one of them. In September, The National Marine Manufacturers Association stated 47% of marine manufacturers saw a year-over-year increase in new orders.

Between 2019 and 2020, Travis County saw 3,341 new boater registrations compared to 2,554 from 2017 to 2018, per TWPD’s boater registration data.

Community Impact Newspaper previously reported that 2020 was the busiest year to date for local Lake Travis marina owners and boat dealers.

“The increase in boating safety incidents over the Memorial Day weekend is attributed in part to many variables, including the increase in new boaters since the start of the pandemic in 2020, severe weather, lack of use of life vests, abuse of alcohol, and not following general rules of safe boating,” Jones said in the release.

Annually, many of these boating incidents could have been avoided by using boating education and life vests, which are also recommended for paddle boards, kayaks and other personal flotation devices.

Jones previously told Community Impact Newspaper that alcohol consumption is a leading contributor to boat accidents and can increase an individual’s chance of drowning by roughly 50%. During Memorial Day weekend, wardens arrested 36 boaters statewide for Boating While Intoxicated, according to TPWD.

Texas boaters can learn more about boater education, laws and safety precautions on TPWD’s website.

By Amy Rae Dadamo
Amy Rae Dadamo is the reporter for Lake Travis-Westlake, where her work focuses on city government and education. Originally from New Jersey, Amy Rae relocated to Austin after graduating from Ramapo College of New Jersey in May 2019.


Plans to move forward with the design of a new Travis County women's jail have been postponed indefinitely. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Travis County pauses plans to build new women's jail

Commissioners voted unanimously to postpone any design or construction of new jail facilities for at least a year while staff re-evaluate the Travis County correctional system's needs.

Joseph Chacon, interim chief of the Austin Police Department, gives an update on Austin's recent move into the second phase of Proposition B camping ban enforcement June 15 alongside Homeless Strategy Officer Dianna Grey and City Manager Spencer Cronk. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin Proposition B enforcement shifts from education to warnings

Austin officials on June 15 provided an update on enforcement and outreach work by city staff and the Austin Police Department with the second phase of Proposition B camping ban enforcement now underway.

CesiumAstro will expand its Austin headquarters with a new 29,000-square-foot facility. (Courtesy CesiumAstro)
Aerospace company CesiumAstro expands Bee Cave HQ, announces mission to space

CesiumAstro recently announced its first mission to space, which will take place in September.

Photo of Moderna vaccine vials on a table
50% of Travis County residents fully vaccinated against COVID-19

Travis County has reached a milestone in COVID-19 vaccinations.

The Lake Travis Film Festival shortlist party was held at Music Hill Ranch in Lakeway. Founder Kat Albert announced the official film selections for the festival, which will kick off June 10. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Inaugural run and mayoral recognition: 4 events recently held in West Travis County

About 100 people showed up for the inaugural Run Through the Hive Police Memorial 5K. The race, which was held May 15 at the Hill Country Galleria, raised money for the Bee Cave Police Benevolent Foundation. The foundation offers financial aid and support to Bee Cave police officers, local public safety employees and their families during times of need. The foundation also offers a college scholarship to graduating Lake Travis High School students. (Greg Perliski/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas issued a call for Texans to conserve energy June 14. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
ERCOT asks Texans to conserve energy with generation outages 2.5 times higher than normal

"This is unusual for this early in the summer season," said Woody Rickerson, ERCOT vice president of grid planning and operations, in a news release.

Austin moved into its second phase of Proposition B ordinance enforcement June 13 and began working to move some campers around City Hall on June 14. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin Police Department clears tents around City Hall

The city began issuing written warnings June 13 in its second phase of enforcing criminal penalties for camping in public.

The Lighthouse Restaurant & Lounge offers a view of Lake Travis. (Greg Perliski/Community Impact Newspaper)
Landmark Briarcliff diner serves up diverse menu

The recently expanded deck at the Lighthouse offers an outdoor bar and performance stage.

UT Austin football stadium filled with fans
In Austin and the rest of the nation, the business of college sports is changing

If Gov. Greg Abbott signs SB 1325 into law, Texas will join a number of other U.S. states in allowing college athletes to profit off their names, images and likenesses.

Lingering symptoms, long-term impact of COVID-19 will take time to fully understand

Dr. Mary Katherine Theoktisto answers questions regarding the virus.

Salvation Pizza, opening in the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport June 16, is one of several new pizza options in the Austin area. (Courtesy Salvation Pizza)
Pie chart: See a map of 11 new, coming-soon pizza options in the Austin area

New spots include Above Ground Pizza opening in New Bruanfels after several permitting delays and Salvation Pizza feeding travelers at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport