Holiday highlights safety risks on Lake Travis

Travis County

TRAVIS COUNTY, TX (KXAN) — Despite a Fourth of July downpour, plenty of people headed out to Lake Travis to cool off from the hot weather. 

Robert Weiss of Lake Travis Scuba is out on the lake most weekends and explained that holidays like this bring many newcomers to the lake who are unfamiliar with best safety practices. 

“For some reason, people lose common sense when they’re on the lake,” Weiss said. “You can see the boat activity starting to build up, we did have an emergency situation out by the dam this morning.” 

The Travis County Sheriff’s Office, Austin-Travis County EMS and Lake Travis Fire Rescue responded to a medical incident near Mansfield Dam Wednesday.

TCSO lake patrol was also out on the waters, checking in with boats to make sure people were following the rules and had all the proper safety equipment on board.

At last check Wednesday afternoon, Austin-Travis County EMS said that was the only incident they responded to on Lake Travis.

TCSO has already responded to a number of drownings this year at the lake. A spokesperson with the department shared another reminder to the public to use safety equipment: TCSO has never pulled a body out of the lake that had a life vest on. 

“Even though I’m a solid swimmer, if you’re gonna be in the water, make sure you’re wearing a safety device,” Weiss shared. 

He added that there’s lots the general public can do to make the water safer for everyone.

“Don’t text while you’re boating,” Weiss urged. “It’s amazing how you lose perspective of whats going on around you and boats can come from any direction.”

He added that changes in depth can cause unexpected problems for swimmers and boaters. 

“Be aware of where you’re boating. What may appear to be deep water all over the lake, in some areas goes from very deep to so shallow you’re gonna run aground,” Weiss said. 

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