A Grand Prairie assistant fire chief who has been working on the dive team for years said there is a growing trend of boaters who don’t have the skills needed to operate their watercraft.
Assistant Chief Bill Murphy has watched boating activity on Joe Pool Lake during many busy weekends.
“It just starts off by watching people launch and recover their boats. No respect for the other boaters out there. They don’t know when to yield to the other boaters when they’re coming from certain directions,” he said.
Murphy said many boaters are also not wearing life jackets.
“There’s been so many times when people just jump into the water to cool off, and they go under the water and they’re never seen again. So nobody anticipates that happening, but if they just wore their life jackets, they’d prevent almost 100 percent of the drownings at the lakes,” he said.
Murphy urged everyone who planned to go into the water to have that life-saving equipment. He also warned parents to keep a better eye on their loved ones.
“I don’t know how many kids we recovered that are lost, people bring by. And they’ll go two, two and a half hours without the parents even knowing they’re missing. And I’m talking two, two-and-a-half year olds,” he said.
Lake Parks Superintendent Bob McGlothlin said Fourth of July weekend is their busiest weekend of the year. He’s expecting 20,000 people just on Friday and more throughout Saturday and Sunday.
He said for the first time they’re adding three extra snow cone stands, and he’s expecting even bigger crowds due to this being the last year for fireworks at the lake on the Fourth of July.