Elevated water level brings new warnings for Canyon Lake

Boating landmarks may no longer be visible

CANYON LAKE, Texas – Canyon Lake's beaches and boat ramps have only been open for recreational use for a short while after heavy rains and flooding earlier in the year, but already there has been a death on the water.

A 47-year-old San Antonio man drowned last Saturday while celebrating the Fourth of July.

"It is difficult when you see family members coming to the lake for what they thought was going to be one of the best days of the year and it turned out to be one of the worst days of their lives," said Chief Shawn Wherry, with Canyon Lake Fire and EMS.

Tragedies such as Saturday's can be avoided, Wherry said.

"This is a natural environment, there are no life guards on duty. So people need to be responsible and (take) their personal safety into their own hands," Wherry said.

Instead of just bringing life jackets, Wherry said people need to wear them. Wherry recommended using a buddy system when swimming and said adults should not let kids get more than 10 feet away.

"(There should be) an adult to be a water-watcher, and that person shouldn't be on electronic devices or reading a book, they should be watching the water and the people they are with," Wherry said.

Lakegoers should be aware of the dangers that are below the water surface, as well as above. Wherry said to be on the lookout for drop-offs, cliffs, trees and islands that are no longer in view. He said boaters may be a little disoriented.

"People maybe looking for landmarks that they don't have anymore because they are physically underwater," Wherry said. "It presents a different situation for boaters in the area now."

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