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July 5, 2005
When Going Boating, Leave Behind a 'Float Plan'
Extra! Read All Aboat It!
AUSTIN, Texas — Before you go, it is always important to leave some detailed information with a friend, co-worker or neighbor about your boating trip. That information is extremely helpful for authorities like Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game wardens who might be the ones coming to look for you if you're not back on time.
"The person at home needs to be able to give us a description of the boat, number of people and where they were planning on going. The first place we check is the boat ramp they departed from to see if their vehicle is still there," said Alfonso Campos, chief of marine enforcement at TPWD.
It may seem like an annoyance when boaters are ready to set out for a day of fun in the sun. But if something goes wrong, boaters need to be able to be found sooner rather than later. Here are some guidelines for what information to leave behind.
Where are you going?
- Provide the time and place of departure (ramp).
- Provide the destination and direction of travel.
- If you have a cell phone, leave the number.
- Write down what you are wearing. In case any kind of search is needed, this is important for law enforcement to know.
- Notify someone if plans change.
- Provide a description of your vehicle, including the make, model and license number and a description of the boat, including the license number.
Who is going with you?
- List their names.
- Identify if anyone has any serious medical problems or need for special medication.
When are you returning?
- Allow for delays.
- Set an "Alarm" time, (the time by which people should contact law enforcement if you're not back).
For more information about boating safety laws and boater education classes, visit the Web (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/boat/).
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