NEW BRAUNFELS - After two deadly drownings at Canyon Lake this past week, emergency responders and law enforcement are stressing the importance of safety as people prepare to celebrate the holiday weekend.
Michael McCall has been a game warden in Comal County for almost ten years. He says most of the accidents he has responded to over the years on Canyon Lake are preventable.
"A lot of the accidents or injuries or deaths could have been prevented by wearing a life jacket," McCall said.
McCall said that if you head out to the lake, stay away from restricted areas. Not only can you get a citation from park rangers, the consequences can be deadly. A teenager from Canyon Lake died last week after jumping off cliffs in a restricted area of the lake.
"The water is unforgiving so if something bad happens it usually goes from a really fun day at the lake to a really tragic day at the lake in just a matter of moments," McCall said.
At the Comal River in New Braunfels, emergency responders say 80 percent of their water rescues happen between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
"During the course of the summer we respond to a lot of missing kids or near drownings. These are beautiful waters, wonderful places to come play and have a good time, but I think people take them for granted. It's a natural waterway, it's not a ride at an amusement park," Patrick O'Connell, from the New Braunfels Fire Department said.
They say in the span of a few yards, the river's depth and turbulence can change dramatically. It's important to wear a life jacket if you're not a good swimmer and to keep in mind that jumping into the water from anywhere is not allowed.
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