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  Water Safety

 In an effort to reduce accidents and injuries on Lake McQueeney, FOLM has developed a safety guide. It is being distributed in printed form at several locations around the Lake. Check at the Ski Lodge, real estate offices, marina, or contact us for a copy. Below is important information on pulling inflatables, which have lately been associated with several serious accidents on the lake.

Our Water Safety Guide can now be download as a PDF file: Click Here (this is a large file, broadband connection recommended).

 Learn to Safely Pull Inflatables

Pulling tubers may seem easier than pulling skiers, but there are safety considerations unique to tubing that must be considered. First, due to a tuber�s lack of control, the boat driver is completely responsible for the safety of the tubers. The biggest hazard on Lake McQueeney is that most areas are too narrow to make U-turns and large zig-zags. A tube speed can double when swung around, sliding way to the side toward nearby bulkheads and piers.

- Know the Capabilities and Limitations of your Tube and Riders
Before you start to tow anyone in an inflatable, be sure to read the warning indicators on the tube, and follow the manufacturer�s limits and specifications regarding the number of riders, maximum size/weight, and top towing speed. Tubers should also know how to position themselves and hold on correctly for a safe ride. Both the driver of the boat and the tube riders should be aware of the rules and conditions on the particular body of water on which they are tubing. Remember, your tube riders may have differing levels of skill, physical strength and swimming ability. Always keep this mind, and make any necessary speed or driving adjustments accordingly.

-Make Sure the Boat Driver is Informed, Responsible and Alert
Make sure you have a solid understanding of safe boating rules and regulations. Each boat should also have a designated "spotter" onboard to alert the driver if anyone falls off the tube and keep track of that person's location. The driver of the boat should keep a constant vigil for oncoming boats and any fixed obstacles or floating debris on either side of the boat that could present a hazard. Try to stay at least 50 yards from other boats and potential hazards such as docks, buoys, pilings, rocks and shorelines. Although driving in a zig-zag pattern helps maximize the fun by allowing a tubers to cross over the wake of your boat, only do so when no other boats are approaching and space allows.

-While Towing Tubes, Always Be Aware of Your Boat Speed.
Tubes should NOT usually be pulled as fast as skiers. A safe towing speed will depend upon several variables, including: the age, size, weight and physical ability of the riders; and overall water conditions. If you are towing young children, (most tubes are not designed for use by children under six (6) years of age), maintaining a slower speed becomes all the more important. As a general guideline, keep your speed under 10 mph when towing those 12 years of age and younger; under 20 mph for younger teenagers (13 to 16); and under 25 mph for older teens and adults. Keep the nose of the tube up until the tube is "on plane". Also avoid sharp turns that could cause the tube to flip over and cause possible injury to the riders. It is also important to slow your speed when driving over boat wakes to avoid back injury, especially if the rider is lying in a stomach-down position on the tube. If riding a sitting position, as speed increases, so does the chance of the tubers knees bouncing into their head. Kids will always say "faster, faster", but it is the driver's responsibility to maintain a safe speed.

-When Pulling Two Tubes or Multiple Riders, Take Extra Caution.
Entanglements and tubes crashing into each other can cause serious injuries. Pulling three or more tubes is just plain stupid. Multiple riders on a single tube require a few extra safety precautions. Making sure that the weight in the tube is distributed and balanced properly becomes even more important when it comes to safety and performance. Multiple riders in a tube also means additional arms, legs and hands, making it more challenging to ensure that tubers are not entangled with the tow rope. Riders in multi-person tubes should remember to communicate with each other at all times out on the water. Working together to reposition and shift weight while underway is especially important when making turns or crossing over wakes. Never load a tube with more riders than intended.

-Never Tube Without A Life Vest.

-A Secure Connection
Don't overlook the important connection between the tube and your boat: your tow rope. Before getting out on the water, check the tow rope carefully (as well as the connectors and tow tongues on the tube) for wear, cuts or fraying. Replace the rope at the first sign of damage. Also make sure the rope you are using is made specifically for towing inflatable tow tubes. Before you start towing any tubers, check to see that the tow rope isn't wrapped around anyone's hands, arms, legs, or any other body parts. Care should also be taken to prevent the tow rope from becoming entangled with the boat's propeller. In the event this does occur, turn off the engine immediately and take the key out of the ignition before trying to remove the rope from the prop.

-Use Common Sense
Tubing can be fun and exciting for kids and adults alike, but safety should always be the primary concern. Don't attempt to do any extreme tricks or stunts out there that require dangerous activity or improper use of your tube. Also, never operate or use a tube while under the influence of alcohol. You'll need to be able to act quickly and decisively if anything unexpected occurs. Follow the rules, use common sense, and you'll have a great tubing experience without any mishaps or injuries.


 
  

Friends of Lake McQueeney   P.O. Box 781, McQueeney, Texas, 78123