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Boating expert offers water safety tips

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TWC News: Boating expert offers water safety tips
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Summers in Central Texas means busy weekends on the lake, and that's especially true with a holiday around the corner.

With the Fourth of July holiday on a Wednesday this year, big crowds are expected on both weekends. Those who work to keep boaters on Lake Travis safe say that’s a good thing because it will spread the crowds out, allowing them to better care for those on the water.

Our Russell Wilde spent Saturday on the lake with Captain Marshall Leonard with Flagship Towing, one of the companies responsible for taking care of boats on the water with problems.

Captain Leonard said knowing the right-of-way is a very important thing to keep in mind when out on the water. He said that if all boaters know to stay to the right when passing an oncoming boat, many accidents can be avoided.

"Any novice should definitely be wearing a life jacket,” Captain Leonard said. “Ninety percent of the fatalities from a boat accident is because somebody didn't have a life jacket on."

The safety expert also stressed the importance of staying hydrated while out on the water. He said too many boaters only bring alcoholic beverages which can be dangerous in summer heat.

Captain Leonard said the best advice was given to him as a child.

"What my dad taught me when I was young, I got my first boat at five years old, don't approach anything faster than you want to hit it,” he said. “So if you're heading toward somebody slow down or just get clearly out of their way."

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