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Published on May 22, 2024
Austin Police to Enforce Personal Watercraft Ban on Lake Austin During Memorial Day WeekendSource: Facebook / Austin Police Department

Lake Austin is set to become a no-go zone for personal watercraft enthusiasts over the Memorial Day Weekend. The Austin Police Department has announced that jet skis, wet bikes, and other motorized toys will be banned starting sunset this Friday, May 24th, through sunrise on Tuesday, May 28th. According to an announcement by the city, ordinance 8-5-81 is put in place to ensure the safety of all those looking to enjoy the holiday weekend on the water.

With the sun setting on safety concerns, patrol units are expected to be out in force, ensuring that the ban is adhered to. This restriction applies specifically to Lake Austin, as per the city's regulations. Non-motorized devices like kayaks and paddleboards are still welcome, for those looking to take to the waters in a more traditional or arm-powered fashion.

This isn't a new development. The ordinance states that the ban on these high-speed water devices is an annual occurrence, also extending to other major holidays such as Labor Day and Independence Day celebrations. It's part of an ongoing effort by Austin Parks and Recreation Department in conjunction with the Austin Police Department to keep the holiday revelers safe.

This weekend, if you're planning on hitting Lake Austin, expect to see a police presence reminding boaters of the Texas Water Safety Act and city boating laws. The police urge all boaters to make smart decisions and to call 9-1-1 for all reckless operation of boats or emergencies, effectively keeping the holiday spirits high and the lake's waters safe.

For those questioning what's off-limits, personal watercraft under the ban includes devices designed to be operated by someone sitting, standing, or kneeling on the vessel. Boating rules also require motorized vessels to stay on the right side of the lake, except for providing assistance to a downed water skier. Additionally, operating a watercraft at speeds greater than what is reasonable and prudent under the circumstances is also against the law. The Austin departments in charge of these waterways are pushing for a balance between celebration and safety, aiming for a joyful but incident-free Memorial Day Weekend.