LAKE CONROE – Deputy constables have several boats on constant patrol doing random checks trying to keep boaters safe on Lake Conroe.
On the Watterson party boat, falling off is half of their fun.
“The kids love tubing,” said Brian Watterson, the boat’s owner and driver.
“The driver tries to knock you off when you’re on the tube,” said Zoe, one of Watterson’s friends’ children. “It’s fun!”
However, with his wife, children and family friends aboard, Watterson focused on far more.
“(I’m) just keeping an eye out for the (other boats),” Watterson said. “If the kids are in the back on the tube, I keep an eye out for who is coming across. I just overall keep an eye out.”
July 4th is Lake Conroe’s busiest weekend. There are hundreds of boats and boaters. Many of those steering are experienced. Others are navigating for the first time.
“With all these people out here and all this range of experience, it’s important we educate as much as we can,” said Lt. Tim Cade of the Montgomery County Precinct One Constable’s office. “(We also) enforce laws out on the waters.”
Deputies plan to do random checks all weekend on the water. They will look for drunk, reckless drivers and people breaking lake rules.
Safety, though, is already on many minds.
Tuesday, Michael Jason Frost, 9, his mom Kristina, 29, and her sister Leilani Cole, 30, all died while boating. They were passengers on a pleasure boat rammed by fishermen at night. Funerals for those killed will be Saturday morning.
“I think anytime you hear a story like that it always affects how you prepare to get out on the water,” Cindy Ratcliff, a boater said. “So you want to make sure, like they said, (everyone has) life jackets. You’re watching out for other people because, you know, people are out having fun. The music is loud. They may not hear your boat coming.”