Lake Meredith Steps up Patrols

Keeping your family safe in the 47 thousand acre Lake Meredith National Park is a big task, 
and this holiday extra officers are lending a hand.

Newschannel10's Tina Berasley went along to find out just what they're doing to keep thousands of visitors in check.

Park Rangers won't be the only ones patrolling the waters at Lake Meredith this weekend. Game Wardens from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will help take care of the thousands of visitors expected at the park. 

This is not Lonnie Estep's first time out on the lake this year, and thanks to some good pre-planning, it won't be his last. Ranger Paul Jones inspected Estep's boat and told us just what he looks for in a safe vehicle. "The first thing I'm gonna ask for from the pilot is a certificate of numbers, its gotta be on board the whole time to make sure they match these numbers over here, the ticket's on board, numbers match, looks good".

All three agencies are in the water and on the shores, double checking boats for all the proper safety equipment, like life preservers, and fire extinguishers. 

Ranger Jones gave Estep his approval, and said "Its in accordance with all coast guard regulations now, this boat is good to go, everything that the subject needs to go out and have a good day on the lake he's got it."

Estep added, "There's a lot of people that just show up and don't have everything they need and that's where all the accidents happen, so having him come out and inspect us is a good thing for everybody."

The officers are also on the lookout for operators who could be a danger both to others, and to themselves.

Ranger Jones advised "Drinking copious amounts of alcohol and driving don't mix, you can have a cold drink out here you just cant drink in excess...bring your brain with you. That's all you gotta do, a lot of it is common sense". 

He warns a boat operator can be arrested if they have a blood alcohol level above .08, the same policy applied to drivers out on the road.