With schools out and temperatures heating up, boaters are increasingly out and about on Lake Conroe. Some boaters are new to Lake Conroe, and some are well experienced on the lake. Either way, it is always good to be reminded of important boater safety tips to ensure you and your family can be safe this summer. Following boater safety tips can save lives in an emergency.
Applying the following safety tips can help everyone have an enjoyable summer while maximizing safety for both yourself and others out on the lake.
Complete a Boaters Safety Course before operating any vessel
- Courses are offered by both the US Coast Guard and the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD).
- Search online “USCG Boating Safety Courses” to find the webpage.
- Search “TPWD Boater Education” to find the webpage.
- Follow SJRA and Montgomery County Constable Pct. 1 on social media to find the information posted for upcoming courses.
Make sure to have all the proper safety equipment required onboard the vessel
- A full checklist is available through the TPWD’s website.
- Search “TPWD required safety equipment” to find the webpage.
Check the weather forecast and wind conditions for the day
- Remember check your radar and weather apps and look ahead throughout the day as wind and weather conditions may vary drastically throughout the day.
- For additional Lake Conroe conditions, visit www.sjra.net and click on any of the Lake Level date to access the Lake Conroe conditions dashboard.
Know the “rules of the road”
Just like driving a car on public roads, there are specific rules for navigation on public waterways. It is important to know which boat is supposed to “give way” and which is supposed to “stand on.” When these navigation rules are followed, it creates a much safer day on the water for everyone.
Operate your vessel at a safe speed and be aware of your surroundings
- Operating your vessel or personal watercraft at a safe speed allows you time to make decisions when navigating on crowded waters.
- When underway always scan your surroundings for other boaters, and navigational hazards.
- Always practice defensive driving, remember just because you are a responsible boater does not mean everyone will be practicing the same safety habits, so be alert, and in any questionable situation, always yield the right of way.
- Make sure to operate your vessel at the minimum planning speed (the minimum speed at which a vessel will achieve and maintain a level plane) during the period from one hour-half after sunset to one half-hour before sunrise.
Check your navigation lighting
Even though you may only plan to be out during the day, circumstances may change causing you to navigate at night.
File a float plan
It is always a good idea to let someone know where you plan on going, how long you expect to be out, and when you expect to return.
ALWAYS wear your LIFE Jacket!
ALWAYS avoid consuming alcohol while operating your vessels.
For more great tips visit www.safeboatingcouncil.org/.
For more information on Lake Conroe or the San Jacinto River Authority, please visit our website at www.sjra.net, contact our Lake Conroe Division at 936-588-1111, or check out our social media channels (Facebook @SanJacintoRiverAuthority, Twitter @SJRA_1937, Instagram @sanjacintoriverauthoritysjra).