Hidden Dangers at the Lake - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Hidden Dangers at the Lake

Paul Jones, Park Ranger Paul Jones, Park Ranger

Going out on the lake on plastic rafts may seem harmless, but it could be really dangerous.  Two people drowned in area lakes this summer trying to float on plastic and make-shift rafts.

When we go out to the lake, we don't often consider the wind as a big threat.  Disregarding the potentially harmful gusts that blow across the lake could be a fatal mistake.

The wind can go from 15 miles an hour to 40 in a heartbeat, and knock someone off a raft.

That's why lake officials stress the importance of following safety regulations.  Their rules are the same as what the U.S. Coast Guard follows.  Everyone boating on the lake must have a life jacket handy in case of an emergency.

Kids under 13 years of age must wear a PFD (personal flotation device) at all times.  If not, parents can get a ticket.

Also, buying a plastic raft from the store is fine if it's kept near the shoreline.

The problem is when people take them out into the open water and the unpredictable Texas weather.

At Lake Meredith, the deepest point of the main body, where boats go freely, is 60 feet.

In the swimming area, the deepest it gets is 15 feet, still a pretty deep body of water, one more reason to keep a life jacket handy.

A booklet of safety tips and guidelines put out by the Coast Guard is available when visiting Lake Meredith.

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