Texas Life Vest Warning

Lake Arrowhead Drowning Leads to Texas Life Vest Warning: Wear One!

After a man from Vernon, Texas drowned at Lake Arrowhead last weekend while fishing, Texas Game Wardens have been sending out messages urging boaters all over the state to practice good water safety and to always wear a life vest anytime they are on or near bodies of water, like lakes or ponds. This Texas life vest warning comes at an important time.

According to Texas officials, the drowning victim, Van Dardis II, and another man had been fishing on Lake Arrowhead for about 10 minutes or so in windy conditions when the waves on the lake caused their boat to tip over and capsize. According to the Game Warden, the accident happened quickly. One wave lapped over the side of the small boat and another wave came from the other side. There were life jackets on the boat, but the accident apparently happened too quickly for them to reach them and put them on. Before they knew it, they were in the water.

At the time, they were just about 150 feet off the dam. Several people were passing by in a pickup when they saw the boat overturn and they stopped to try to help, but soon after, they found Dardis face down in the water. First responders arrived at the scene soon after, but it was too late and he was pronounced dead at the scene.  Thankfully, the other man in the boat was unharmed.

According to Texas Game Wardens, this is the first drowning death on Lake Arrowhead in years and it shook them up enough to send out a warning that everyone doing anything near water should wear a life vest, especially when the weather features high wind and choppy waters. They note that it’s not worth taking a chance.

Drownings and lake accidents are more common than many people think in Texas, in part because there are so many places that present a potential drowning risk, including lakes, ponds, private and municipal pools and water parks. And while drownings are all too common among adults who often refuse to wear a life vest for looks, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of every five drowning victims in the U.S. is under the age of 14. Making sure everyone is wearing a life jacket around deep water would prevent many, if not most, of them.

The Hill Law Firm sends its thoughts to the family of this drowning victim and we urge everyone to heed the warnings of the Texas Game Wardens. Don’t just have life vests nearby, wear them. No matter how many times you go out on a lake and no matter how skilled a boater you think you are, you can never predict when a disaster may strike and you should be prepared. If you have small children, they should wear a life vest at all times, no matter how much they complain. If you are not a skilled swimmer, you should also wear one around water. The life you save may be your own or that of a loved one. We want all Texans to stay safe.


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