Austin maritime law and low water levels

November 07, 2011 @ 02:26 PM -- by

As an Austin maritime lawyer, I am aware of the hazards of boating on Lake Travis, Lake Buchanan and various other lakes in the area. These are beautiful lakes with clear water, and so they attract numerous water sports enthusiasts. However, the lower water levels in these lakes are causing a spike in water hazards and are forcing officials to shut down various public boat ramps.

The Lower Colorado River Authority confirmed that, in June, Lake Travis was about twenty-four feet below the typical June level. As of today, the lake is an amazing 54.25 feet below normal. Thus, swimmers and boaters and swimmers are seeing rocks, debris and other things that they are not used to seeing. Lake Buchanan is 22.8 feet below its normal average.

There have been many reports of boaters in Lake Travis running aground. This is very common at night when shallow areas are difficult to see. Boaters need to wear personal flotation devices and should be aware of mile markers on the lake, which will come in handy in case of an accident. Boaters in accidents are often thrown out of the boat, so life jackets can be a lifesaver. Those persons driving the boat should, of course, not drink, as this can cause recklessness. All boaters should wear life jackets at night, regardless of the circumstance.

The Lower Colorado River Authority has been working to mark the various hazards in the lake with orange buoys. However, it is simply not possible to mark all the hazards. Many of the boat ramps in the area have been closed. Here is a good link to the various boat ramps in the Austin area and the services they can provide:

http://www.lcra.org/parks/boat_ramp_info.html

As an Austin boating accident lawyer who has worked on many matters in Texas, I am hoping the water levels return to normal as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, this drought may last for several more years. Boaters need to be aware of the risks brought about by the lower water levels and need to show caution to avoid getting into an accident.

Contact Austin maritime lawyer Scott Nelson if you need assistance after a boating accident. Mr. Nelson serves all of Texas.