Update 2020– Lake Conroe has four drownings in 2020 as of August. All four of the victims were not wearing life jackets.
While no one can doubt its serenity, what most people don’t know is Lake Conroe, which covers approximately 21,000 acres, is now considered the deadliest lake in Texas. According to KBTX, four boating-related have already occurred so far this year, which has made this lake the deadliest lake in Texas since 2000. Looking at the years 2000 until 2015, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has showcased that 22 individuals have died. The number of deaths on Lake Conroe continues to pile up, mainly as a result of boat crashes.
The next of the deadliest lakes in Texas are Lake Travis, which is northwest of Austin, as well as Lake Lewisville, in the Dallas area, both of which combine to have 17 boating-related deaths since 2000. Coming in fourth is Lake Palestine, in East Texas, with 16 overall deaths.
Overall, since 2000 the state of Texas has seen approximately 53 boating fatalities, and of those, 21 individuals were killed in 2014. As the above information works to show, there have been substantial fatalities in many Texas lakes, but a notable concentration in Lake Conroe. While it is imperative to keep in mind safety measures at each of these lakes, special consideration should be made for this lake in particular.
The report also indicates that these figures represent a rise in the number of overall wrongful deaths, even though there has also been an increased number of law enforcement on-site, as well as resources surrounding boat education. However, the report does indicate that many of the deaths have involved alcohol or a DWI accident.
In order to combat the issues of boating-related deaths in the area, Montgomery County is ramping its patrol efforts. The first step is to tackle the patrol vessels themselves, by replacing the engines on these boats in order for the Precinct 1 Constable’s office to be more proactive when the largest boating activity will be seen within the coming months. Reports indicate that these new engines will cost $26,000, which breaks down to $24,700 for the engines and $500 in order to install the engines.
The previous engines lasted approximately 4,000 hours spanning eight years of service, which is an impressive feat. With this in mind, it is projected that these new engines will last even longer.
In addition to the new engines, combating the issue also includes focusing on boating safety by creating more patrols, increasing the Precinct 1 budget, additional equipment upgrades, and more safety checks on the boats that utilize the lake. These checks include ensuring life-preserving devices, lights, whistles, and fire extinguishers are all on board.
Negligence on the Water
To this extent, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, approximately 70% of all boating accident deaths could have been prevented if the proper life-saving equipment, as such as those mentioned previously, had been on board.
With the spring and summer months upon us, patrol units and law enforcement alike are predicting a higher rate of boating. While this activity is a favorite past time of many, it is equally imperative to consider the safety measures that should be put into place in order to combat the title of the deadliest lake in Texas.
However, many of the recent deaths have been the result of negligence by an operator of a boat for such things as failing to keep a proper lookout or failing to yield the right of way on a boat or jet ski.
If you would like to know your rights and options you or a family member have been in a boat accident call the Houston boat accident attorneys at the Baumgartner Law Firm- a Texas personal injury law firm (281) 587-1111.
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