Friday, July 1, 2022

4th of July Personal Watercraft Ban on Lake Austin

The Austin Police Department Lake Patrol Unit will enforce the City Ordinance that prohibits the use and operation of personal watercraft, wet bikes, motorized surfboards, and similar devices (designed to be operated by a person sitting, standing, or kneeling on the vessel) on Lake Austin.

 The enforcement will begin at sunset on Sunday, July 3, 2022, and end on Tuesday, July 5, 2022, at sunrise, as outlined in Ordinance 8-5-81. Non-motorized devices such as kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards can still be used along with watercraft designed for the conventional manner of sitting or standing in the vessel.

The annual ban on personal watercraft is necessary to ensure the public's safety that use the lake and parks over the 4th of July Day Holiday Weekend. This ban only applies to Lake Austin. Police will  patrol Lake Austin this weekend and urge people using waterways to follow the Texas Water Safety Act and City of Austin boating laws and ordinances. One of these laws that most boaters are unaware of is TWSA 31.123, which is the Required Response to Police Water Safety Vessel. The operator of a vessel underway, on sighting a rotating or flashing blue beacon light, shall reduce power immediately and bring the vessel to a no-wake speed and subsequent stop until the intention of the water safety vessel is understood.

We would also like to advise the public about the extension of the new no/slow-wake zone (in purple) on Lake Austin by the Pennybacker (360) Bridge.

 Police urge all boaters to practice safe boating and to call 9-1-1 for all reckless operations of boats or emergencies.

The Austin Parks and Recreation Department and the Austin Police Department want the public to enjoy the parks and lakes but urge people to make this a safe holiday.

City Ordinance:  8-5-81 WATERCRAFT AND OTHER MOTORIZED CRAFT ON LAKE AUSTIN.

     (A)     A person may not use or possess a jet ski, wet bike, motorized surfboard, or similar device on Lake Austin:

          (1)     from sunset on the Friday before Memorial Day until sunrise on the Tuesday after Memorial Day;

          (2)     from sunset on the Friday before Labor Day until sunrise on the Tuesday after Labor Day; or

          (3)     from sunset on July 3 until sunrise on July 5.


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