Well, folks, July Fourth is Sunday, and people in Southeast Texas will be heading out to the lakes, bays and beaches like a cloud of locusts.

Lake Conroe will be teeming with watercraft, and people from all over the area will be enjoying themselves, and I wish everyone the best. I think Will Rogers stated it well when he said, “Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.”

You know, of course, that Independence Day is for celebrating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Every American should keep in mind the importance of this document and how it impacts us and our freedom.

At this time, I would like to throw out some ideas to help everyone have a pleasurable, long weekend.

First and foremost, I implore everyone who will be indulging in water sports to please pay attention to what is going on around you and to keep events of the past in mind. Just a couple years ago, a boat load of revelers hit the FM1097 Bridge, and three people were seriously injured.

When looking back on recent years, people have had just about every accident that can happen on a body of water resulting in serious injury and death. All of it was due to high speed and operator error.

I would venture to say that all of the businesses and law enforcement people in Montgomery County would like everyone to enjoy our lake, have a great time and come back to visit us anytime.

But, we do not want to see you leave with a broken watercraft or having to pay a visit to one of our emergency medical facilities - or end up in a body bag.

Whenever you gaze over the water of our lake and see that it is almost gunnel to gunnel with watercraft, do not be lulled into a false sense of security. Realize the possibility exists of snags and other obstructions being right under the surface where you cannot see them.

Another fallacy that I have heard numerous times is that Lake Conroe is dangerous. To that I will attest that there are no dangerous bodies of water in the state of Texas, but dangerous people and boaters. Mother Nature is very unforgiving when a person messes up in her domain, be it on a lake, river, the Gulf of Mexico or wilderness lands.

Ignorance is no excuse under the law of man, and breaking laws can cost you money. If you do not like the outcome of the application of the law of man in our country at this time, you have ways to appeal a decision. But when it comes to the laws of Mother Nature, when you mess up, you will pay for the infraction, and there is no appeal. Example: you might wonder how anyone could run a watercraft into the dam, and it is beyond me, but it has happened in the past.

At the risk of pointing out the obvious, let’s take a look at some of the more common infractions of Mother Nature’s laws.

There is an old saying that alcohol and gasoline don’t mix. No truer words were ever penned. Consuming canned pop with the foam on top or good Tennessee’s best sipping whiskey while driving your truck on the way to the lake or driving your boat once you arrive is a violation of the laws of man and just plain stupid. The best way to address alcohol is to have a designated driver, but if you end up in the water and drowning after taking on a load of German soda water, the fault lies completely on the shoulders of the offending party.

It is summertime in Texas, and we have seen and may see more 100-plus-degree temperatures. There is nothing unusual about that, but you need to stay hydrated. That means drinking lots of water. Not soft drinks or German soda water, but good old water, H2O, agua, wásser, and any other language you desire. Dehydration can easily occur when one is in the water playing, water skiing or on a boat out in the water with the sun beating down. Don’t gamble, and drink lots of water.

Always look out for the other watercraft. You know as well as I do that not everyone on the lake will act in a responsible way, so don’t become a holiday statistic because of someone else’s lack of common sense. If everyone will act as though they are responsible for everyone on their boat, the odds of a serious accident occurring will be reduced drastically.

So, neighbors, let’s all have a great July Fourth. Be safe, and take home happy memories of family and friends safely playing on the water together.

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