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Boating safety tips following tragedy on Lake Texoma

Published: Jul. 13, 2021 at 6:40 PM CDT
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - Two people are dead and another injured after they were thrown into the water when their boat malfunctioned on Lake Texoma Saturday.

“The odds of everyone getting knocked off the boat is pretty low, so that was a real tragic accident,” said boating expert Chris Walters.

While OHP troopers say malfunctions are rare, they do happen. Saturday on Lake Texoma, two brothers lost their lives and another man was hurt when the steering cable on their striper boat malfunctioned, causing it to abruptly turn to the left-knocking all three men into the water and hitting them.

None of them were wearing life jackets. It is unknown if their boat had a working kill switch.

“When you don’t kill the motor, that boat’s going to go in a circle,” Walters said. “And if you’re in the water, it’s hard to avoid that boat because it’s going to come back to where you fell in.”

Walters, founder of LakeHub.com, has been boating for over 30 years. He says having a kill switch is crucial.

“So when you fall off the boat it kills all the electrical to the boat motor and then the boat stops so, it’s not going to drive around and hit you. It stays put so you can swim back to it,” Walters said.

Not only are kill switches designed to prevent accidents, they’re also required by law.

“They passed a law here in Texas that if you’re driving a boat out on the lake you have to have a kill switch on a lanyard, and you have to wear it,” said Walters.

He says boating safety starts at home.

“Be aware of the weather, be aware of the wind, and have everything at a moments notice if there is an accident.”

Click here for the Lake Texoma Facebook page.

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