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Boating Accident Claims Two Lives on Lake Fork

Most recently I blogged about boating requirements while on the water, and now, as the Summer season starts getting revved up, there has already been one tragic accident.

Details about what took place on Lake Fork (near Quitman), on Wednesday (July 3), have not yet been determined, but early reports indicate that two boats collided on the lake around sunset.

Walter Serbon, Jr. (69 years old) and Justin Wilcox (34 years old) lost their lives, while a 12 year old boy remains hospitalized.

There is the obvious that immediately comes to mind.  Alcohol, speed and visibility.  Speaking with some of East Texas’ most knowledgeable recreational boaters, driving while intoxicated on the water is not one bit different than doing the same thing in a motor vehicle.  Reckless speeding while on the water is not one bit different than doing the same thing in a motor vehicle.  Driving too fast for conditions to allow, especially during sunset, is not one bit different than doing the same thing in a motor vehicle.

I’m not a boat driver, just a passenger on the vessel, so I don’t know how easy it is to let your guard down on the open sea.  But those experts I spoke with, said a combination of feeling invincible, while on a body of water not familiar to a boater is a lethal mixture of “unknown”.

‘They’ advise bringing a pair of binoculars to your destination, so as to survey the lake for at least 15 minutes before launching, and focus exclusively on the driver’s.  Watch for signs of detrimental activity, and make note to stay clear of those with disregard for others safety.  And, be out of the water well before sunset, so as not to become an unintentional floating target that another boater can’t see.

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